Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

(UN)MASKED: An Artistic Exploration into That Which Intermediates Between the Individual and the External World

by Jessica Monroe

The King Creativity grant will facilitate a sculptural installation of masks. For me, masks represent the way in which an individual uses social systems in order to communicate and understand the external world. This concept became more clearly formalized for me during my experiences while abroad in Madrid last semester. To live amongst people conditioned to a different criterion of norms allows the observer — by way of comparison — a unique perspective of the culturally bound system in which all societies live. Questions began to arise: When does an action become an individual decision and when does it become a matter of social conditioning? How much of my own actions were determined by the way in which I was raised? These questions eventually led to the foundations of my current artistic exploration with masks.