Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2010 Kelsey M. MacDonald
When creating a current work, artists cannot ignore the images that have preceded theirs. The history of a medium and the related history of subject matter is vital to the meaning of a new art work. Each sign and symbol has a connotation out of the artists’ control. The developed meaning of a symbol is inseparable for the viewer regardless of the acknowledgment of that meaning by the artist. To work with imagery and not address it’s historical context is to perpetuate it’s meaning. The only way to not state what has already been stated is to critically engage with the preexisting meaning of the imagery. An artist can combine symbols to create dual meanings or juxtapositions of meaning, or present the imagery in a way that complicates what it already signifies. “Apparent Fate,”my combined negative, photographic mural, uses imagery from Yosemite National Park to comment on photography’s function or purpose in history and in the current economic, political, environmental, and social conditions in California and society’s current stance on Manifest Destiny. How have the ideas of innate rights over people and places changed over time in American culture?
MacDonald, Kelsey M., "Apparent Fate, 2010: Dismantling the Notion of Photographic Truth" (2010). Scripps Senior Theses. 18.