• Kayla Wiley

BFA Project Proposal

Purveyor of Pleasure

Pleasure controls me. I consider my pursuit of pleasure one of my defining characteristics. I am pursuing a body of work that conflates my childhood experience with death, to my adult experience with pleasure. I am aiming to create a multimedia installation that speaks to these themes; it will communicate the obsessive way that I live my life in fear of death, and my belief that the pursuit of pleasure is crucial to living a fulfilling life.

On January 2, 2001- I died. On that morning my mother was hit and killed by a drunk driver on her way to work. She died instantly. Part of me never left the moment that I found out that she would never come home. I no longer had a mother to bandage my boo boo’s or wipe my tears. When she was ripped away from us, I had no choice but to grow up. My childhood died with my mom. I was raised by my father, who had an authoritarian-corporal punishment parenting style. My childhood lacked the emotional training and comfort that a mother figure would aid in. I was constantly worried about more people in my life dying. I developed an intense fear of death, and coped with this phobia by participating in physically pleasurable actions such as an indulgence in food, money, and sex. I am fearful of not existing, because all I know how to do is exist.

I’m particularly interested in re-examining the loss of my mother through the exploration of materials that are used in children's DIY craft projects; examples of these materials include borax, thumb depressors, elmer's glue, and rice crispy treats. When utilizing DIY craft materials, I feel like i’m having fun instead of working. This gives me an opportunity to live an experience that I was denied; doing at home crafts with my mom. I am transported back to being a child; I get to play and playing is pleasurable.

I plan to investigate my mother’s death by researching her case and uncover things about her death that I ignored growing up. The works of Sophie Kai and Mary Kelly inspire me to make art that is vulnerable and true to my human experience. I will be seeking out philosophical and psychological research surrounding ideas of pleasure; hedonism, freudian pleasure principles, anti-freudian feminist theory. I am attempting to create a body of work that tells a story of a childhood loss, but also creates dialog about pleasure.

I don’t have many memories of who my mother was when we existed on earth together, but her memory is kept alive through the stories that are told about her. Although this project focuses primarily on my experience of losing her, It is also important that in this work, I honor and celebrate her life.

Her name was Lorrie Ann Macanas Wiley.

A loved friend, mother, wife, sister, and daughter.

I miss her everyday.

© 2018 by Kayla Wiley

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Portland, OR 97225