Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.F.A. in Art

Department

Art and Art History

First Advisor

Philip Jackson

Second Advisor

Kris Belden-Adams

Third Advisor

Virginia Chavis

Relational Format

dissertation/thesis

Abstract

The “performance” of gender is variable and multifarious, fabricated in reaction to audience, mood, and previous experiences. Starting in childhood, people “police” our gender performances, and profoundly shape our self-presentation and sense of personal identity. We gradually learn to self-edit our performances of gender, after countless critiques by others, which often negatively impact our body image as they preserve “norms,” marginalizing anyone who does not conform. The mixed-media installation, Southern Discomfort: Performing Femininity in the Deep South, examines this process and its impact on young girls. The young, blonde, female figure who appears multiple times in my installation reveal girls in these gender-norm “policing” encounters. All of the figures are based on images of my niece, Zoni Lynne, age three, the child whose self-concepts I influence the most. My artworks reach beyond the traditional canvas and into the viewer’s space in order to confront the audience with the question of how they may have influenced the gender socialization of others in the Deep South. The negative effects of these repetitive, forced messages upon the construction and reconstruction of personal body image is expressed in my work by the building-up of thick layers of mixed media, the wear-and-tear of the canvas, and through the presence of symbols such as “Suitable for Chubbies,” blonde hair, and the bee hive.

Concentration/Emphasis

Emphasis: Painting

Included in

Painting Commons

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.