Over the last months, I’ve preoccupied myself with the involuntary action of yawning as a metaphorical and symbolic action that I propose to be representative of the symptoms of contemporary society; restless, bored, even sometimes apathetic.
I’ve come upon research that suggests that yawning and its contagiousness is neurologically tied to one’s capacity for empathy as well as being a physiological action responsible for cooling down the brain before or after high-stress situations.
The series of yawning portraits plays on empathy. The portrait sitters make the viewer and the viewer’s space the subject of their attention until a yawn comes over them (the way that Munch said he was overcome by “the eternal scream of nature”).
For the senior show I have decided to make portraits of the seniors as part of the Yawnerz. What does it mean to assign these qualities and this context to a group of new artists? To a show surveying the work of artists, and artists at this time in their lives?