August Payne


Class of: 2025

Major: Fine Arts BFA

Medium: Video

Faculty: Kori Shavit

Prompt: Create a set of three video pieces that utilize the human body in relation to any available objects/materials, to create a human sculpture/s. The sculpture/s can be still, or kinetic (active, dynamic).

This piece portrays a subject struggling with an object, stockings, that begin to overtake them as the work progresses. I wanted it to look like a conversation, with the subject trying to get their words out, though it is covered by the sound of static, which drowns out the subjects voice. In the first section, the subject sits, looking at the camera and their surroundings. The object is on the wall behind them, and they don’t seem to mind. I projected a pale yellow to introduce a neutral mood. In contrast, when moving into the second scene, the subject is more confused. They begin talking, looking around for something we can’t see, as the object is now entangling their body. The blue projected on their body introduces a depressive mood. In the final part, we witness the breakdown of the subject, an irritated red is projected on their body. Their eyes are covered by the object, and the zoomed in frame adds a claustrophobic feel. The piece abruptly ends with the subject letting out a scream, a victim to the object consuming them. My art is a reaction to being Black, being mentally ill, and being femme presenting. This piece was inspired by the work of Senga Nengudi and her work with stockings filled with sand. Earlier in the semester, I was assigned a photography project in which I told a story using six images. For this piece I used similar themes, such as the binding of the subject’s eyes, and created a story that plays with the idea of identity and self worth in an academic setting. As I continue my artistic career, I hope to create several more pieces focusing on feelings of visibility as well as perception of self.