100,000 sidekicks

Schurr, Alison Lynn
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2011]
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This essay discusses the artworks presented in the MFA thesis exhibition 100,000 Sidekicks including: the process and the construction of the work, the exhibition's arrangement and most importantly the work's content, intention and research. 100,000 Sidekicks is an examination of my personal experience with multiple, individual voices or auditory hallucinations and their influence on my creative process. In 100,000 Sidekicks I share my personal experiences with auditory hallucinations and frame auditory hallucinations as a subject of psychological diversity. The pieces presented in this exhibition showcase my continuous art-making process, as well as my exploration of memories, auditory hallucinations and the gaze in self-portraiture. The exhibition is a projection of three looped videos titled Origins, Brain Space Spectrum, and Where I Am, various visual artifacts including three paintings, three displayed scrolls and multiple sketchbooks (Plate I). The sketchbooks act as support for the larger pieces--videos, paintings and scrolls--and are analogous to the supportive role my auditory hallucinations play for me. In this exhibition I have created an autobiographical collection of artworks that highlight my art-making process. I have also used documentation to create the videos and the visual artifacts. The videos are made up of 100,000 frames. The repetitive drawing of my self-portrait created the frames necessary to generate the animated videos. Therefore the 100,000 frames become the essential support or sidekicks to the final videos and are also the inspiration for the exhibition's title. My self-portraits are dual-purpose: they represent me physically and symbolize my auditory hallucinations. My gaze--the multiple monochromatic self-portraits that look directly at the viewer in the videos--is a metaphor for multiple, individual voices (auditory hallucinations) speaking outwardly toward the audience. The image of my body is a symbol to reify my auditory hallucinations, to give physicality to an unseen condition. The auditory hallucinations inspire the images that are documented through my concentrated drawing practice which can be seen in the sketchbooks and the drawings used as video frames. With this body of work I am candidly discussing my experience with auditory hallucinations in a public forum for the first time. Through my honesty I am allowing myself to be simultaneously courageous and vulnerable. Although my personal understanding is not yet complete I have made this collection of art in an attempt to explore my experiences. With this essay I hope to clarify my experiences with auditory hallucinations and suggest new ways of understanding mental diversity.
M.F.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
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Theses for the degree of Master of Fine Arts (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Art.
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