Bridget Kenahan


Updated Proposal

I have chosen to work with my shoes and go through all of them, finding a specific story or memory I have associated with them. I have started to draw out small sketches of all of my shoes and intend on pairing them up with a small blurb, saying something about them. This could potentially develop into a book, which leads me to the idea of making a series of small books cataloging my things and their stories. Also, I have started scanning the bottoms of my shoes, in order to make wax-transfers of the impressions they leave on the ground. The reason why I am doing this is because I want to continue making things, and having other options of visually displaying my objects.

21 November 2011


Identity through Objects

Given time to think about my Senior Seminar project over the summer, and the past weeks since the start of school, there are a few things that I have decided to change. Instead of using polaroids for my images I have decided to use a time lapse camera to be able to make stop motion films. This would document my process much more smoothly and the idea that I am leaning towards now, it makes sense to have a film opposed to several images laid out or put on a wall. Although my general idea is still the same, the idea of identity through objects, I am now thinking more of physical objects, more like collectible type things, such as books or mugs or figurines, opposed to clothes or accessories. I have been collecting things for quite some time and I am very interested in the value I [place] in objects, and what other people think of them. I would like to set up a table of my objects and leave a camera on time-lapse to see how people react to the things that I leave out. I will document what each object means beforehand, and then also document how many people interact with each object, and observe the correlation. I am curious to learn if [their actions correlate with] how much I like each object, and if people treat my things with the same kind of respect that I do. THe idea of an object becoming a part of a person, or a big part of their life, is still my focus, but I am starting to think of other [ways] to [investigate and] portray this, which is less obvious than what I had originally intended to do.

7 September 2011


The process in which I went through to try and narrow down what I would like to do my senior seminar on was to make a list of things that I enjoy, and see if I could use them all together in order to prove something. The subjects that I narrowed it down to was photography, fashion, jewelry, the collection of objects, and the use of community. In terms of photography, I specifically narrowed it down to only using Polaroid photos because I like the idea of capturing one moment, and not being able to change it. Unlike with digital photography, where much editing can be done, Polaroid’s are more simplistic, and I like this.

With this, I began to think of topics I could use all of these things together within to explore a certain subject. One subject that is interesting to me and I think could be explored with all of the things that I am interested in is identity. I am curious as to how much of superficial materials make a person who they are. If it is at all possible, could I transform someone into “me” by having him or her wear my clothing, or jewelry? I believe that this transformation could be shown by taking Polaroid pictures of maybe just one person, or several people, slowly being emerged in my things and having it be documented.
A person that I have read about who uses Polaroid’s in a way that I can relate to and use as an inspiration is Andy Warhol. Andy Warhol has a collection of Polaroid photographs of his friends and others, and it goes along with his idea of disposable celebrity culture. To me this is just reconfirming my belief of the fact that although one may work hard towards creating their own identity, it can so easily be imitated or thrown away.

Also, there is an entire community of people on the website who take part in a project of taking 365 pictures of yourself, one every day of the year. To me, this is completely in the realm of my thoughts on identity. If I wear the same clothes as someone on flickr and take similar photographs of myself, how much of their individuality and identity is lost? Or even so much of mine is lost? I hope that by following through with this project I will be able to better portray the importance of identity, and how easily it may or may not be taken away from someone.

Ten artists in praise of the Polaroid
365 Days

16 May 2011

One Response to “Bridget Kenahan”

  1. jmcvey

    Comments re: the revised idea, based on seminar discussion on 7 September.

    You will need permission from participants, if they are to be filmed as in a research experiment. Certain releases etc., would need to be obtained.
    You’ll need to provide a greater degree of directions to those participants, re: how they’re to interact with your objects. We talked for example about asking people to “order,” or “rearrange” objects, according to some criteria.

    You are expected to be familiar with artists/designers working veins similar to your own. Find out (possibly by discussing with art history faculty, or with the librarian) what artists have been doing under the general heading of “curating.” You might also look into the movement known as “participatory art”, for example at wikipedia, or by looking at Claire Bishop, Participation (2006), on the Montserrat Library shelf at NX 46.5 P37 2006.

    One participatory art artist I’m aware of is Katerina Šedá. See review of her “It Doesn’t Matter” project at Frieze Magazine (2007), or Samantha Penn’s blog essay on Seda at (2009).

    I question whether comparison of your participants’ valuations or handling of your objects, with your own valuation of them, will ultimately be as interesting as simply observing the many ways people relate to objects.

    How do people organize information/objects. Look into Richard Saul Wurman’s “Five Hat Racks,” which get a two-page spread in the book Universal Principles of Design, that we’ll be discussing on Monday. Give it a look.

Leave a Reply of Your Own