Faculty mentor: CoCo James
Artist’s Statement: “Framing” is an interactive collage piece that explores the often damaging effect that popularized surface level depictions of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) have on both individuals experiencing OCD, and those who may have a limited clinical and/or personal understanding of the condition. While representation of OCD in popular mainstream media narratives may present opportunities for exposure to OCD for the general population, overstated comedic, and often oversimplified, depictions trivialize the disorder and serve as an obstacle to treatment to those experiencing it through increased self-stigmatization. The first level of this piece, the frame, represents how mainstream media portrayals often favor highlighting symptoms such as a desire for symmetry. While this symptom is a valid aspect of the experience for many individuals experiencing OCD, the purposeful lack of contextualization, particularly when it comes to the exclusion of the obsessive nature of OCD, surrounding the symptom works to present traits associated with the disorder as “quirks” and thus frequently downplays severity and gives rise to harmful phrases such as “I am so OCD.” To provide further elaboration on this idea, the first frame is purposefully obscuring representations of the obsessive nature of OCD and only includes the details that sustain this trivialized narrative. Representations of the obsessive nature of the disorder are seen beneath this initial frame through repetition of phrases regarding hypervigilance, items frequently associated with intrusive thoughts, and doubting of the severity of symptoms and deserving assistance towards recovery. There is also a purposeful inclusion of the framed main photograph, intended to associate with contamination OCD symptomatology, as similar to the desire for symmetry it is still a valid aspect of experiences with OCD, but is framed through a more evolved understanding which is needed for informative future popular media depictions of OCD.
Watch my performance below!
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