Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Painting and Printmaking

First Advisor

Cara Benedetto

Second Advisor

Hilary Wilder

Third Advisor

Gregory Volk


Quotations like the Sharpest Claws describes a multimedia installation composed of paintings and sound that explores the theory of cognitive dissonance, a controversial psychological model that attempts to explain how we deal with inconsistency in incompatible beliefs. Imagination is given primacy as a source for truth-seeking and world-building. The uncanny and surreal are used as entry points into this topic.

The title is derived from a description of Eileen Myles’ poetry I once read in an anonymous review. Their writing was described as beyond poetry in a way that it could only be described as such when surrounded by “quotations like the sharpest claws.” This phrase has since stuck with me as a way to describe my own work, dealing with “truth,” “metaphor,” and “cognition”, although in my case these claws are indicative of doubt surrounding the aforementioned subjects.


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