Date of Award

5-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Martinez, Antonio

Abstract

AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF Tommy J Reyes, Master of Fine Arts degree in Mass Communication and Media Arts, presented on April 12, 2010, at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. TITLE: MEMORIAS MEDIADAS Y EL ARCHIVO MAJOR PROFESSOR: Antonio Martinez Memorias Mediadas y el Archivo takes as its starting point journals that I have kept for about twenty-seven years. I started writing in therapy, at the age of seven, to help me cope with the death of my father. Even though therapy only lasted a few months, I continued to write, and even to this day I continue to keep an electronic journal. Memorias Mediadas y el Archivo in its simplest terms is a re-creation. This project explores my life through photographs that I am calling and describing as memorias mediadas (English translation, mediated memories). My goal is to move outside the deeply personal by creating a visual language system that consists of color, composition, and production. It is within this visual system that I am attempting to maneuver outside the personal, or confessional, and connect with the viewer in a way that does not center on me; instead, the connection is with the work and our shared experience of viewing the photographs, not my personal story. I believe in connecting with the viewer on a common visual ground, which allows them to interpret the work based on their own experiences and not my minority status. I believe that our identities are constructed by the way we choose our outward appearance and how the world sees us at first glance. With that in mind, I define mediated memories as a series of screens both physical and metaphorical that present my constructed identity for the purpose of creating a system of signifiers for an informed audience. It is with this system that I am able to direct the viewer's gaze through the world of the photographs. These screens are put into place to act as translating and distorting layers, like a series of screen doors, distorting the view looking out and the view looking in. By creating this visual language system I not only distort my remembered personal experience for the viewer, I create a simulation of truth based on my personal archive. This becomes the first screen of mediation. In this paper I will explore and reflect on my desire to create these mediated screens, which I have put into place for the purpose of distorting deeply personal events.

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