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megan bickel

 

multidisciplinary artist // writer based in Louisville, Kentucky.

currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Louisville.

Recently, I am spending a considerable amount of time meditating on two words as they relate to one another in this contemporary moment: illusion and allusion.

Illusion—of course—references a trick, to camouflage, to convince of. It’s a deceptive appearance or a false belief. With this, an allusion can be commonly described as an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference—and I would make the argument that a visual illusion maintains the same responsibility. Perhaps the difference in these two words lies in the responsibility of the imagination of the reader. Perhaps as consumers of images, when considering an allusion we aren’t confronted with the same malice that is projected onto the illusion. Perhaps that projection of malice appears as we know we are being had.

Though my approach to media differs from object to object, I would say generally that this body of work utilizes haptic curiosity as a means with with to encourage visual, ethical, or empathic critique of contemporary media images. This skill of inviting curiosity into our daily consumption of images may become an important skill as we approach a period in history where we have to understand and decode how our images may be deceiving us— and as quickly as we learn to create those deceptions.

My hope is that in cultivating an object that encourages the question, “what is. . .”, I could encourage viewer critical questioning as it relates to a variety of images.