Sarah Brophy


Every story is told from a specific perspective, for a specific reason, and with a specific audience in mind. We tend to look at historical records of information (letters, diaries, maps, etc) with some kind of inherent trust that these sources relay “fact” without always realizing that any kind of information translated by a person comes from a place of bias, intentional or not. Map makers choose what information to leave out and what to include, journalists choose what events to widely publicize and what to keep quiet, and we write from a place of complete partiality in our own personal records.

In contemporary times, social media and the vast archives of the internet add to the public library of available investigative resources. My work aims to think critically about the idea of “fact” and to think carefully about what gets written down and why. By retracing catalytic events in my own life and examining the inconsistencies in my own records, this installation calls attention to the ability for memory to distort reality and to remind the audience that even the things in our lives that we consider to be absolutely objective are inevitably attached to a subjective lens.

The grant I received from the FVL allowed me to realize a 22 x 12.5 foot video installation exploring the distortion of fact through conscious manipulative bias and the unconscious and unpredictable fault of memory. This piece aimed to think critically about the idea of objective information and to think carefully about what gets written down and why. I explored this idea through an experiential fusion of gif animations and large scale sculptural elements. The materials provided to me by the grant involved large quantities of wood, foam core, sheetrock, glassine and numerous other supplies that I would never have been able to afford myself. I am extremely grateful for the generosity of the grant, which allowed me to depart from small scale “sculptural collage” into the exciting and consuming world of large-scale installation – a jump I never thought I could make.