The lens of empathy
Is Version Of
This document accompanies the exhibit The Lens of Empathy. Portrait busts, audio interviews and a video installation explore effects of the status of "Other" on the individual. This thesis and exhibit also delve into and highlight the character and strength of those who find themselves on the outside of a set of hegemonic considerations in their daily efforts. Finally, together they examine how the subjects of such public scrutiny become more than the sum of their circumstances through embracing the struggles set before them.
Major influences on this body of work are identified and analyzed, including my personal experiences with Buddhist thinking as a means of reconciliation and betterment, the work of other artists who address the human story and condition, and narrative sources addressing the adaptations of fellow persons who have been marginalized. The overarching themes and processes used to create this body of work for The Lens of Empathy are described in the following pages. Portrait bust making, a process usually reserved for the immortalizing of the socially significant, is the technique chosen to highlight some of the people in my circle who have been affected by circumstances and often marginalized by the status of "Other". The audio interviews that accompany an individual's bust are a chance for the subject to tell the story of their situation and a chance for the audience to hear what otherwise might not be offered. The video installation My Walk is the lynchpin that brings the viewer and subjects together.