How is it already the 4th week of my MFA? Yikes. So much time has passed and yet I have very little work to show for it. I critique next week and I am very much anxious about getting something produced in the time between now and then.
I had a meeting on Friday with Carmen Winant, a faculty member here at CCAD who teaches a variety of theory/art history based courses with both Graduate and Undergraduate students. I knew she would be a great person to talk to about my work and ideas because of her background in feminist theory/history and her personal work. Also, considering nearly everyone I have spoken with about my work and ideas has recommended I speak to Carmen.
Anyway, I think she made a great recommendation for me in regards to beginning my work. She suggested that instead of focusing on one specific topic, think of a broader or more general idea/concept and in a way build from there. For example, don’t think so much about maybe just doing work involving menstruation and women’s experience with that, but think more about this idea of “betrayal” of the body and expand on that.
I agree that starting with a larger concept will help flourish some broader ideas and also facilitate more exploration through making. My struggle however, is that although I wanted to take a break from making work about the body this semester, I seem to have circled right back into it…granted, the concept and idea of the body betraying itself and these issues women face internally and externally is much different than that of my previous work that explored the female form abstractly. Regardless, I am still really drawn to the idea of domesticity and life within the home and the role that women play in it. Originally, this is the topic I wanted to explore more and dive into and why, in a way, I had started to think of motherhood and it’s stressors so much. In my thinking about motherhood, however, I started to think about the body and seemed to have lead myself to this idea of body and betrayal. (See blog post titled 28th day). I am not totally against making work about the female body in this new way and exploring it, but I really don’t want to lose this interest in domesticity just yet and not take this time to further my interest and exploration in it. The first semester of my MFA, as many have told me, is really about exploration with not only materials, but concepts and ideas as well and so at this point, I am going to continue to explore the concept of domesticity as well possibly allowing it to become the forefront of my artistic work.
I have received an immense amount of responses from people willing to participate in my Call to those who Bleed, and so I am not throwing all of those ideas and things away, but for now, while I wait to receive stories in the mail and really figure out what else this idea of bodily betrayal could become, I am also going to explore some ideas in relation to domestic life and a woman’s role within it.