2020 MFA Alumni Thesis Exhibition

Jared Robison

By combining durational performance and video art into site-specific locations, my work plays with the idea of practicing presentness. I rely on various transformative processes as a means to reflect upon broader ontological questions and existential anxieties that underlie the human condition. This journey is an ongoing inquiry into strategies that foster the contemplation of what it means to fundamentally be and exist as a social creature in a world that appears to occur (dualistically) separate from the Self. My current work explores the intersection of personal identity and our drive towards interconnectedness with transformative objects. It is here where I circumambulate and meditate upon patterns of meaning and purpose through objects. Being mindful of the dualities and the processes behind Individuation furthers my curiosity to explore the limits and possibilities of our human psyche.

There is a level of humor and absurdity that reveals itself in my practice, and there are long intervals of time where I question the meaning and purpose of my pursuit. And from my perspective, the process of Self-Exploration tends to be circular in nature, and a feeling of senselessness begins to manifest if taken too seriously for too long. But what I feel is most important when questioning the Self or any journey one finds themselves in, is to get lost in its grandeur, if only for a brief moment. In other words, to merely get lost in its process and free-associate the various parts of our being without judgment. For it is there where we can become informed of a higher expression of ourselves.

As an overarching approach to my curiosity, I continue to pursue the Self beyond what it appears to be and propose that to live in the present moment means to actively play hide-and-seek in the paradox known as Selfhood. It is here where one’s awareness perpetually maintains imprisonment to habitual patterns of behavior and ineffable experience. My methodology embraces the other, the unknown, and the uncomfortable while emphasizing the process over the outcome. Through the implementation of these fundamental and, at times, absurd approaches, I gain a greater understanding of my place within it all. If only for a brief moment, because in reality, that’s all we really have.