Title

Tethered

Date of Graduation

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Art (MFA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Art

Advisor

Kristin Musgnug

Committee Member

Leo Mazow

Second Committee Member

Michael Peven

Third Committee Member

John Newman

Fourth Committee Member

Angela LaPorte

Keywords

Communication and the arts; Book arts; Bookmaking; Fine art; Original artwork; Printmaking

Abstract

Tethered addresses the innate fear of forgetting where an individual's family originates, both physically and historically. Not long after discovering that part of my family was almost completely annihilated during the Holocaust, I produced Tethered as visual documentation of the long-term effects of families of survivors. The exhibition is also influenced by my grandmother's experiences as a Mauthausen concentration camp survivor and my own experiences being raised by a survivor.

The knowledge of the imminent loss of memory initiates an instinct to repetitively record and remember personal history. Numerous memories have been forcefully buried in the darkest recesses of the minds of many family members-- they continuously surface through communication with my mother and grandmother. As personal memory is collectively shared, psychological effects of the survivor pass on through storytelling. As artistic objects develop, I continue to search for threads between history, place, and identity as a way to demonstrate a new reality, a struggle, and a story.

The books and prints in the exhibition symbolize the compilation and transportation of memory that is witnessed through sensory communication and observation. Fragility of memory and history is emphasized through the use of materials and construction of each object. Many of the objects reiterate the struggle to address what is missing or what will eventually disappear and never return. Other objects symbolize the residual effects of the past and how they are still present in family's daily lives. The iconography of loss plays an important role in constructing each piece, creating a complex relationship between narration and symbolization. With each object, I attempt to grasp a lost identity and the haunting memories of experiences that are not fully understood.

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