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MFA student uses performance art for thesis exhibition

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tess Matens painting

"Portrait-Self-Portrait" Tess performs part 4 of her thesis show
Photo by: Scott Lee

Tess’ performance art serves as a self-portrait of her childhood, through to adulthood, as well as times of mental health and illness. In her four-part thesis show, 1, 2, 3, 4, Tess invites her witnesses-- termed this way because in performance art theory, active participants witness revelations that are shared-- to explore her experience as a young woman artist in a world that can be misogynistic and that objectifies female bodies. 

 

This is done as she interacts with objects from her childhood in the new context of her adulthood.

As Tess progresses through performances, she becomes more exposed, both in the details of her life she reveals to her witnesses, and physically with the skin she bares. She performs before her witnesses despite major stage fright including visible shaking and her difficulty speaking.

Supported by her supervisor Professor Boyana Videkanic, a performance artist herself, Tess executed an interdisciplinary fine arts thesis by utilizing several mediums including performance art and painting. Professor Videkanic reflects, “Tess is very good at tapping into the space and place of performance and therefore can successfully reach and touch the witnesses who are present. This is where performance is at its best.”

Read the rest of the story on the Graduate Student Profiles page. 

Tess performs "Announce It!"

"Announce It!" Audience participation in part 1 of her thesis show
Photo by: Kaitlin O'Brien

Tess performs "A Second Hand Emotion"

"A Second Hand Emotion" Tess performs part 2 of her thesis show.
Photo by: Scott Lee

Tess performs "Slow Change"

"Slow Change" Tess performs part 3 of her thesis show.
Photo by: Scott Lee


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