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this blog will be a collection of images, writing and other media that has influenced or is relevant to my art and research process. i see it as a kind of scrapbook for my ideas, thoughts, criticisms, ruminations, etc. take a browse, add your comments, enjoy.

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Judith Scott (1943 - 2005)

Also at the American Visionary Art Museum, I was able to see several works by Judith Scott. I initially heard about Scott and her work when reading an excerpt from Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick’s Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Here, Sedgewick critiques prior reception of Scott’s work, especially from psychoanalytic critic John MacGregor, who wrote of Scott, a deaf woman with Down Syndrome, “Judith was certainly not engaged in the production of works of art… [she] is completely unaware of the existence of sculpture.” Sedgewick responds by noting that “both before and since her recent recognition within the framework of ‘outsider art,’ Scott has been repeatedly diagnosed in terms of lack.” She describes the sense of relationship between Scott and her sculpture as seen in a portrait of the artist embracing her work, by the photographer Leon A. Borensztein: “The height and breadth of her embrace could suggest either that she is consoling herself or seeks consolation from the sculpture… this soberly toned black and white photograph is at the same time ablaze with triumph, satisfaction and relief.”

In seeing her work myself, I can’t deny the sense of intention I felt among her sculptures. The care with which they appear to be crafted, and the aesthetic coherence of each object lead me to believe that Scott’s developmental differences hold little relevance to her status as an artist with a vision. Perhaps because of her inability to communicate verbally, Scott’s sculptures hold even more ground as intent symbols of artistic expression.