Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Project Advisor 1
“Toe pincher” is an archaic term frequently used in the American funeral industry for a six sided coffin, an object instantly recognisable in our popular visual culture. Through a variety of mediums (sculpture, printmaking and photography) I studied the shape of the toe pincher coffin both as an object and as a symbol. Keeping the toe pincher a constant within the varying works, along with shifting its scale to roughly 1/40 the size of an actual coffin, I was able to use the shape as a vessel for various narratives and meanings. My work in printmaking informed and directly affected both my sculpture and photography and vise versa. From this process I was able to curate core narratives and concepts through pairings and installation that often involved a combination of mediums. These core narratives and concepts ranged from the personal to the political. Briefly, here are some of the things I discovered and played with.
Changing the scale of the coffin was the first moment I realized I wanted to play with the viewers perception of space. Using photography, optics and installation, I create a sense of displacement and dissociation from one's own body within Toe Pincher
The coffin when reduced to 1/40th the scale changed the associations I have with the sinister object. A dark humor formed throughout the creation show through the repetition and absurdity of the project.
Individual life lived contrasted with institutional power
Each coffin represents an individual life within a system. Through curating these moments I create narratives that evoke various historical and social concepts. There is also an feeling of being watched in my installation.
The way in which I worked on this project, choosing a subject and then finding multiple ways to explore it and dissect it in intense detail, is one of the most important lessons I have learned. Getting every last drop out of an idea through rigorous time consuming work is how I would like to live the rest of my life.
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Williams, Henry Tyler, "Toe Pincher" (2015). Senior Projects Spring 2015. 367.