Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Fine Arts, Visual Arts



Major Advisor

Ryan Mandell


This thesis seeks to raise a discussion and reflection of the current state of psychiatry in an intensely globalized world. As a result of globalization, many individuals have a lack of enculturation and a shallow connection to tradition. I take both a subjective and objective approach to understand how this has an effect on an individual’s perceptions and efficacy of treatment as many healing methods come to coexist. The subjective will be explored through my own reactions to treatment methods after becoming diagnosed with an anxiety disorder that leads to periodic states of depression. The objective will focus on two fields: cultural psychiatry, to understand the impact of social and cultural difference on mental health, and Victor Turner’s anthropological development of processual symbolic analysis, which is concerned with the interpretation and meaning of symbols within cultural performances and the need for continual reassignment of those meanings in perduring cultures.

My artwork fits into a lineage of historical and contemporary artists using the theme of mental health in their artistic practice, and the issues presented in the field of cultural psychiatry provide the conceptual basis for my video installation. Using Christine Ross’ theory of aesthetics, which links depressive tendencies to contemporary art, I discuss how my artistic practice related to mental health fits into the art world.