Cultural Strabismus, 1996 – 2000
Mass reproduced images are everywhere. We are inundated with an ever-increasing glut of images from media. The specific meaning of an image is frequently lost, and often subverted, in the pollution of pictorial media. The reading of images is highly influenced by the commodification of our culture infused by various belief systems. People have lost the ability to genuinely “see” or “read” images beyond the superficial glance.
I was born with the visual condition know as strabismus, which is also known as lazy eye disorder. This results in the eyes being oriented in different directions causing the brain to receive two different and separate the images resulting in double vision. When not properly treated, the brain eventually learns to ignore the image from the misaligned eye. When the eye and brain are not functioning in tandem, it can result in difficulty perceiving full three-dimensional images. I also have dyslexia, which effects visual processing and the perception of words and numbers. My involvement in these conditions led to create new metaphors. They represent cultural maladies where the eye sees, but the brain chooses not to recognize that image resulting in cultural blindness, of seeing injustice but choosing to ignore it or being presented with scientific facts that are overruled by beliefs rooted in religious faith. At times seeing requires believing in the abstract – believing in things we cannot see, but we know are true.