Title

Trace.

Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation

5-2019

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M.F.A.

Department

Fine Arts

Degree Program

Studio Art and Design, MFA

Committee Chair

Rhodes, Che

Committee Member

Singel, Rachel

Committee Member

Reitz, Chris

Committee Member

Omer-Sherman, Ranen

Author's Keywords

Judaica; feminist art; Jewish art; identity politics; feminism

Abstract

Trace utilizes autoethnography to investigate aspects of Judaism to discover how one decides what to embrace, embody, or deny from inherited legacies. Autoethnography attempts to combine quantitative and qualitative data in order to systematically analyze and describe personal experience. The artist acting as Ba’alei Kushiah, or question bearer, uses Talmudic philosophy as a methodology and approach to art making. This research is self-referential; using Jewish thought to ask questions about Judaism. Judaism, often existing in an in between place with outward characteristics that reflect regional influences, facilitates a dialogue about whether there are relative or absolute delineations within and between categories such as religion, culture, ethnicity, and nationality. The work calls into question whether there are hard and fast boundaries to our belief and classification systems. It asks what happens when beliefs and traditions are examined; if it is things taught or lived experience that shape a person more.

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