Taylor Barnes: Who's Next [MFA Oral Defense]
Thursday, April 25, 2019, at 3:30 pm
“Who's Next?" is an all-encompassing experience of self in a collegiate institution. Creating visual language about identity I have adopted a duel-position: illustrating this clarification of self, yet simultaneously having to justify these experiences as true to others. Despite this disposition, finding a sense of empowerment has become my key to longevity. This body of work displays revealed truths, created and imposed boundaries, and self-awareness. Alleviating myself from this position, and creating a new point of entry to conversations of identity in institutions.
Being the only black female in my graduate program, I found there is an overwhelming sense of labor in repeatedly explaining my experience in the world. This stems from the lack of information and selective ignorance in critiquing artists of color. I intensively reflect on this circumstance through my work, and it has resulted in a strong desire to research independently in order to compensate for a lack of representation and guidance. Using fiber, charcoal, surface processes, and text I reveal themes of race, identity, and cultural critique. Positioning my personal experiences and myself in relation to object and subject, I create artwork that brings consciousness to the experience of the “other.”
Amie Adelman (Chair), Dornith Doherty, Lauren Cross