External Validation 1987

Constructing and deconstructing this collage has given me the chance to play with ideas of aging, identity,  and the artifacts of external validation such as grade reports, standardized test scores, photographs, newspaper articles touting achievement, and even a badge from a 1987 teen pageant that I attended at age 18. It felt cathartic to glue down and tear back these defining layers of personal papers, creating something new from the documentary “evidence” of academic perfection and parental approval, examining the official proof of my self-worth.

The following photos show the process of collage and then décollage that constructed External Validation 1987.

Hold it together, sister
1987 Miss
1987 Miss (fellow contestants)


Winner of Miss Teen Missouri 1987 (spoiler: it's not me!)
Winner of Miss Teen Missouri 1987 (spoiler: it’s not me!)



Contestant #101, Catherine Raine
Contestant #101, Catherine Raine


My senior-year class photo
My senior-year class photo


The first tear
The first tear


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