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Face Frame

Face Frame

Solo show by Deborah Bouchette, 2nd year IDSVA student, at the Rose Center for the Arts in Lower Columbia College in Longview Washington.

In this age of being able to buy friends online to increase your popularity, how important are other people? How do you feel when your smart phone dies and you are out-of-touch? Many great thinkers have said that a person cannot be complete without contact with another human being.

Emphasis on Memory, 2012 Deb Bouchette


Jacques Lacan’s “mirror theory” said that each of us, at about age two or three, defines the self through observing and identifying with other people.  Mikhail Bakhtin, who pre-dated Lacan, went further to say that we become who we are by imagining what others see in us or think of us:  we become what we think other people think we are. And what if no one had a name?  This is not so hard to imagine, for we encounter and speak of many people whose names we do not know.  We classify people, such as “the farmer,” “the teacher,” “the children,” or “the army” we use a pronoun to stand in for a person.

My exhibit is about anonymous people.  Nameless people.  Other people.  People with whom we might think that we have no relationship.  But we do.  After all, these anonymous people drink our water, breathe our air, they share our earth—we share our entire universe.  We are in a relationship.  We are who we are because of other people.  “No man is an island” (John Donne).

What is the easiest and surest way to distinguish another person?  By the face.  The face of the Other.  Everyone else is your Other, whether you know the person or not.  With each you have a relationship.  And the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas said “the Face . . . is the beginning of intelligibility. . . . from the start, the encounter with the Other is my responsibility for him.”  Jean-Paul Sartre agreed.  To study the Other is to care, to become ethical.

Deborah Bouchette’s Web Site:  http://www.dbouchette.com/