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Kelsey Dilts McGregor - Final Project - "Self Portrait"

Self Portrait

My motivation for creating this self portrait was tied up in thoughts I had of both living funerals and the idea that we present ourselves slightly differently to various people in our lives. I'm interested too in how we percieve ourselves vs. how we are perceived by others in our lives. There are some moments in this piece where I want to argue with what the speaker is saying or to deny a truth of something spoken. Part of the difficulty in gathering the interviews was attempting to be a silent bystander while both being an engaged participant in the conversation and trying to keep my interviewee at ease. As an aside, I was on the cusp of turning 30 when I started this endeavor, I believe I also wanted to have some kind of token to mark my third decade somehow.

To present this piece, I aimed for simplicity. I did not want any visual stimuli present, just a darkened space with maybe some soft lighting if any at all.

Kristen Oppenheim is one artist I felt my work related to. Her subject matter, while more blatantly feminist, is ultimately a self reflection. Perhaps a more obvious connection I share with Oppenheim is the manner in which our works are presented. Often, Oppenheim has only a single spotlight while the sound piece plays - a spotlight which shines on neither the audience or the artist but eludes to the "performance" of the sound.

Another influential artist, although she isn't a sound artist per se, is Nikki Lee. I was completely captivated with her work and simultaneously intrigued and mystified by her process. In many of her photography series, she explores self portraiture through the lens of others (certainly figuratively and perhaps even literally as she is never the person behind the camera). While her "others" were people who were "new" to her whereas my "others" were people who have known me for years, there is a similarity in both our processes. I cannot deny that I had her in mind when I started thinking about my project as her lecture this semester really stuck with me.


Wow. This is a very rich and powerful piece. As someone who's known you for 10 years, it was especially interesting to hear things that I could definitely confirm and others that I wouldn't have guessed. Also: I love that I can kind of hear a gasp or the beginning of a rebuttal when Leaf says "You've gotten kind of girly lately"!