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Kumao, Heidi

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Digital access to this material is pending artist's approval. Materials may be viewed onsite at the Goldsen Archive, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Kroch Library, Cornell University.

I use art as a tool to explore personal responses to power structures in the nuclear family, mainstream media, the workplace, and traditional gender roles. I examine the psychological underpinnings of these seemingly ordinary situations and institutional contexts. Formally, I use machines, animated objects, and projected imagery because they offer me a visually compelling way to investigate what is unseen: defense mechanisms, sex drives, thinking patterns, self-control, dreams, and impulses. Each piece harnesses a variety of technologies in order to startle the viewer with unpredictable behaviors or an unsettling display of images. By challenging the viewers' expectations of an object, I heighten their awareness of ordinary social interactions to reveal the underlying emotional and poetic capacities. At its core, my work is driven by the desire to create a psychological experience for viewers that causes them to rethink commonplace events such as childhood play, family dynamics, television news, and even the wearing of clothes.

 
 
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