Sarah Sachar

Sarah Sachar

Project title:  Reality/Surreality: Conceptualizing Reality through the Lens of the Avant-Garde

Project description:  How do the images and words that we subconsciously and consciously consume factor into our malleable conception of the world? Does art, especially works following in the tradition of the politically-oriented avant-garde, warp the lens through which we interpret spaces, occurrences, and ourselves? Through examining pieces of experimental film, visual art, literature, and music, I intend to investigate how encounters with works of avant-garde and experimental art alter and disrupt our perception of reality. 

Most important accomplishment:  As echoes of thirteen Cate Blanchetts simultaneously chanting fragments of artistic manifestos linger from my time stationed in Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto multichannel film installation and my lips smolder still from red curry, shared in conversation under charcoal smudged Dreamers, a black-and-white Lady Liberty, and handwritten protest signs in Rirkrit Tiravanija: (who’s afraid of red, yellow, and green), I lead a group of visitors through a room of Surrealist paintings and sculptures, completely in my element. This vignette comes from my time working as a Gallery Guide at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and though each day, on my descent to the staff lounge, I stare down Barbara Kruger’s BELIEF + DOUBT = SANITY, no combination of the two will make it any less insane that I fulfilled my dream of interning at my favorite art museum!

Reflections on the College Scholar Program:  Membership in the College Scholar Program allows me to curate my education, my way, within a community of similarly curious peers. I appreciate that I have countless opportunities to refine my ideas through discussions with the faculty members and students involved in the program and challenge myself in the set of classes that I select. With the support of the program, I have turned the initial rush of an interesting idea into formal academic research and earned admission into the Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholars Program to further support my pursuits.