• Obscura: MFA Thesis - Sculpture

      Mattison, Sarah Reese (2014-12)
      From the architectural element to Microsoft, windows are analogous to notions of the portal, the frame, and the screens of film, television, the computer and mobile phone. They represent a passage to other worlds, new ways of thinking and ideas, a frame for voyeurism, spiritual insights, as an escape from the banality of daily life, as well as a medium for inner reflection. The window’s function is paradoxical: providing a physical separation from inside and outside while still enabling cross examination, existing as both an internal and external form simultaneously. They are usually transparent but also have a reflective surface. They close out and close in. Windows frame both virtual and physical realities thus challenging notions of time and space. These dualities are at the heart of my thesis question. Through my thesis, I ask, “where does the external end and the internal begin?” Where do you end and I begin?” The entry point for my thesis project, Obscura, was an exploration of the physical and metaphorical expressions of window. Physically, I took the elements of a window and undressed them one by one: the frame, glass, coatings, screen, etc. Through this process, I was also attempting to dismantle the metaphorical concepts of beyond / outer / other / exterior / separateness by highlighting the tangled hierarchy of an absolute binary: without an inside, there is no outside, no exterior without an interior, and vice versa. The concepts exist simultaneously and are entrenched to the point where one does not exist without the other – a chicken and egg dilemma. Which comes first, inside or outside? Mother or child? Time or space? You or me? How are these signifiers nested together in an interwoven whole?