Statement of Purpose
You know what I hate about writing “Statements of Purpose”? You sit down, and clear your mind, and from your heart you pour out beautiful, organic language describing how and why being ____ is the only thing you can be, because it is what you were born to do and while doing _____, you hope to change the world. But then, in the editing process, your unconscious need to curb your passion so you don't seem unrealistic, conform to social norms and present your thoughts in a cohesive, formulaic manner obscures those beautiful thoughts and intentions.
I am working on statements of purpose for graduate school applications (for 15 different schools!) and I am stumped. I have all of these wonderful ideas and yet I have no way to connect them within my statement.
And, how are you supposed to summarize your entire artistic purpose, history and goals in such a small space? One of the most helpful pieces of advice I have come across comes from this article: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-an-Artist-Statement, #3- Making a Mind Map. So I sat down and thought about what one word best describes my art. And two words came to me: Mind/Body. From these words at the center of my "map" I connected "impressions of", "violation", "tool of communication" and "political statements." I feel that these words collectively cover how each of my pieces relate to the mind/body. Perhaps the most wonderful result of this exercise is that I started to think even more introspectively about that relationship between mind/body and how it is relevant to the world today. Here are some random notes/thoughts I jotted down while considering my work and its relationship to the mind/body:
- the overarching theme of my art is investigating how ideas about the body transform the body and how interactions of the body transform the mind
- our mind, and the violation of the mind through organic or mental disorder can change the body
- even though our bodies are possessed by us individually, through violence others can posses us physically and mentally
- physical interrogation methods are used to "break into" someone's mind/infiltrate
- Before we learn to speak, or even form complete thoughts, we are tasked with orienting ourselves to our physical world through the vessel that is our body
- Each piece of sensory input is processed, stored, and recalled, each neural pathway built on specific sets of experiences and transformed with each subsequent experience
- Our body transforms through growth, interaction, and adaptation to our environment
- The body and mind are inextricable linked, as what the body feels is processed by the mind, and what the mind thinks is articulated by the body
Bodies as weapons- using bodies against us: abu ghraib
In addition to the article above, I found several other helpful articles: