As a means of exploring complex and sometimes legally forbidden conversations, art can enter into space that cannot be infringed upon by the will or agenda of others – or even by law itself. Art cannot be silenced. It escapes pride and vengeance. It’s rises above the intention to harass and to incite conflict, and measures its own success by its own standards – requesting no approval of its viewer for validation. It communicates ideas that go beyond language and legalese. And it does so with a sharp, exacting point that is, at the same time, both unmistakably finite and broadly sweeping. It is a means to say what others do not want heard; the exposition of the truth – damaging and beautiful and powerful and untouchable.
An international multimedia producer and visual ethnographer, Cyle O’Donnell seeks cultural meaning in geographic rarity – what moves a population to evolve the way they do. Focusing praxis on advocacy and adventure documentary while distilling culture, history and cuisine into globally relevant appeal, his artistic work has contrariwise involved multiplatform media and materials that detail responses to inequities in social, legal and political systems – in effect, trauma-related art. His showcase for the 2017 graduation show, Non/Disclosure, reveals selected works from an exhaustive gallery in both size and scope, representing a response to personal assault and legal injustice wrought of mental illness and hauteur. In total, 13 exhibits were on public display at the University of Maine’s IMRC Center in the summer of 2016. Professor O’Donnell currently works at UMaine’s sister campus, the American University in Bulgaria, teaching multimedia journalism.
2016 Thesis Show: