Creation Date



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video projection and found materials

Artist Statement

My work explores otherness, in relation to interactions with those considered ‘mentally ill’ or ‘disabled,’ through both reconstructive and metaphorical means. The artworks’ perspective originates with personal experience as a caregiver in group homes, as a witness to the development of schizophrenia in my sister, and as a person diagnosed with PTSD.

I am interested in a visual exploration of how society interacts with those persons that don’t fit within the normative structure in the most typical and accepted manner. Each piece’s appearance or artistic approach relates to a specific memory or idea. The video is meant to focus on parts of a specific memory; the act of sitting across from a man, who had suffered severe paralysis at a young age, helping him write poetry with a letter-board. The installation serves to recollect the experience of working at a group home, which taught and practiced behavioral psychology. The performance directly addresses the action of behavioral psychology by recreating the environment through direct interaction between the performer and the audience.

The video piece is scaled up to a size that is much larger than the actual, physical tools. Meant to serve as a reconstruction of my memory of the experience, the aesthetic is minimal and the content is directly focused on each individual’s correlating actions. The installation serves as a form of narrative; it tells a story using found objects, that are relative to the story, to embody the experience. The cigarettes juxtapose and transform the immaculate lines and black and white starkness of the piece.

The work is a sort of personal processing and questioning of how and why we address people who are considered ‘differently-abled.’ The societal function of “othering” reinforces the attitude, which perpetuates the isolation and confinement of those who don’t fit specific standards for economic productivity or social appropriateness.


© Catina Elizabeth Crum, 2017. Photo Credit: Karl LeClair.

Exhibit Images


communication, chair, relationships, alphabet, aprons, black