Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dyslexic Art

For most of my MFA program, people have been asking me why I am using text to make my work. I tried to explain that I have studied Post-Modern theory on the importance of text and words deconstruction. I was reflecting those ideas in my work. But much like PoMo, my reasoning was without a real foundation. So, using words appeared to be an 'ends to a means' or a trope I was using to get a result. This reasoning sent me into crisis, because I knew there was something deeper going on in my work, but I just couldn't admit to it. I was in denial that my dyslexia was the main reason I have focused on using words. Now I have been open about my dyslexia to people in casual conversation, but when it comes to my work, it seems I was determined to exclude it from the reasons why I was making work. I don't know if it was because I didn't want to admit my difficulty reading was why I make images that are difficult to read, or I didn't want to use dyslexia as a crutch. When it comes to making my work, it has became a gift more than a disability. Sure I can't read well, spell, fully comprehend a text without reading it several times, and other fun problems that dyslexia give me, but on the other hand, I am finishing my second master degree, so I don't think it held me back to much. The fact is dyslexia gives me the ability to see differently than other people. I see words as images and as meaningful text. So, of course my work would be about making text into the between space of word and image. It all makes sense to me now. I admit that dyslexia is part of my process.

2 comments:

Manon Doyle said...

Hey Todd,
Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day!! Yours is very interesting! I will come back!

SisterK. said...

this raises a question: Is your artwork an expression of how you see words? How DO you see words and texts? Compared to someone who doesn't have dyslexia?

For example, for me--you work is intriguing precisely because it is difficult for me to see words and letters are forms and shapes and pictures. What I always see is language first. So your artwork forces me to encounter that.

But I would assume what you see is something different, something expressed in your artwork?