Until March 14th:My solo show Face Frame is at the Rose Center for the Arts in Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington. It’s an hour’s drive north of Portland. Read my show statement here.Grad school:In early in January I attended the New York residency for my PhD program, visiting museums, gallery hopping, listening to lectures, and visiting an artist’s studio in DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass). Click here to check out IDSVA, the only school in the world to give a PhD in the Philosophy of Visual Art. As my colleague said, “it’s not an institution, it’s a movement.”Gallery:When you’re at the coast, visit the Ryan Gallery in Lincoln City, Oregon. I have a couple of pieces there.
Face FrameDeborah BouchetteIn this age of being able to buy friends online to increase your popularity, how important are other people?How do you feel when your smart phone dies and you are out-of-touch? Many great thinkers have saidthat a person cannot be complete without contact with another human being. Jacques Lacan’s "mirror theory"said that each of us, at about age two or three, defines the self through observing and identifying with otherpeople. Mikhail Bakhtin, who pre-dated Lacan, went further to say that we become who we are by imaginingwhat others see in us or think of us: we become what we think other people think we are.And what if no one had a name? This is not so hard to imagine, for we encounter and speak of many peoplewhose names we do not know. We classify people, such as “the farmer,” “the teacher,” “the children,”“the army,” or we use a pronoun to stand in for a person.My exhibit is about anonymous people. Nameless people. Other people. People with whom we might thinkthat we have no relationship. But we do. After all, these anonymous people drink our water, breathe our air,they share our earth—we share our entire universe. We are in a relationship. We are who we are because ofother people. "No man is an island" (John Donne).What is the easiest and surest way to distinguish another person? By the face. The face of the Other.Everyone else is your Other, whether you know the person or not. With each you have a relationship. Andthe philosopher Emmanuel Levinas said “the Face . . . is the beginning of intelligibility. . . . from the start,the encounter with the Other is my responsibility for him.” Jean-Paul Sartre agreed. To study the Other isto care, to become ethical.