Night School


A Requirement to Complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the University of Iowa

“Much of the art I have created since I was very small has always been narrative. I would create fantastical stories in my head, and I would tell these stories often through drawing. As my artwork began evolving, I discovered I could still depict these stories through a camera, a medium in which I didn’t begin exploring until my undergraduate studies. My subject when photographing is very often people because they hold so many stories themselves. Our sleeping dreams are stories, too. However, I found that the more I began paying attention to my dreams, they became lucid, meaning, I realized I was dreaming and began controlling them myself, morphing the dreams into stories I felt more comfortable with. I cannot do this every time I remember dreaming, but I also found dreams fascinating in the sociological sense because dreams can also serve as superstition. Before a big trip, if you had a dream that your plane crashed, would you still board that plane? Not being a very superstitious person myself, the pseudo-science surrounding dreams that drive a person to believe one thing or another is very intriguing. Some people use things like dream dictionaries so they can find meaning and explanation to their life.

In this body of work, I photograph different dreams I have had over the past six months. Each photograph carries its own narrative and has three parts attached to it: my own titles and summary of the dream as I remember it, the professional and scientific research on the purpose of dreams, and the popular pseudo-science definition of the dream. The work as a whole challenges the legitimacy of photographic representation because it questions how one really represents their own subconscious. Artists have been depicting their subconscious for centuries; however, photography carries the weight of a history full of true and false representations which burdens the challenge further. The vignettes of dreams that I do have are often very frightening, strange, confusing, or simply silly. I am very skeptical of the beliefs surrounding pseudo-science, so these emotion-driven narratives are more focused on my own interactions with them, with the psychological approach taking second importance, and its pseudo-scientifically approach taking third importance. This body of work has expanded into something I hope that makes its audience really engage with each dream, as well as their own when they sleep at night.”

Image 1: “I Was Robbed While Checking My Mail,” assistance by Brett Warden.

Image 2: “A Scorpion Stung My Left Arm”

Image 3: “A Stranger Asked Me Out on a Date”

Image 4: “Cutting My Own Hair Was a Disaster”

Image 5: “I Hallucinated and Saw a Deer in the Wall”

Image 6: “I Was Escaping from Three Gunmen”

Image 7: “We Were Zombie-Vampires Attacking an Innocent Bystander”

Image 8: “I Was Waiting in Line to Meet Zooey Deschanel”

Image 9: “Jumping Out the Window into Water to Avoid Others”

This show was displayed in the Checkered Space #2 (3rd Floor) of Calvin Hall at the University of Iowa on March 5 through the 22nd, 2012. The same show followed at Raygun (103 E. College St, Iowa City, IA) from March 23 through April 5th, 2012.

If you’re interested in buying a book featuring this work, you can do so here.

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