Fusion of Art and Science

By Jorge Martinez
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UCLA to present “Body Dysmorphic Disorder Explored” exhibit during Anorexia Awareness Week.

Art and science will be seen together in the form of both educational and artistic as UCLA will present their exhibit as part of their Anorexia Awareness Week.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder Explored is the name of the event created by international, multidisciplinary artist Leigh de Vries and leading body dysmorphic expert Dr. Jamie Feusner.

Co-programmed by two UCLA undergraduate groups – Active Minds and the Student Wellness Commission Body Image Task Force – the event will revolve around artist Leigh de Vries’s short film “Exposure: The Broken Reality Tunnel,” brief talks from each, and then a Q&A session around the urgent topics of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and eating disorders and how these disorders can intersect. It will be presented on UCLA’s Westwood campus on March 2 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Leigh de Vries is a multidisciplinary artist who embraces a range of materials and forms in her practice, working in electronic and audio technology to create installations that combine sound, music, performance, lighting, film, video, and computers. BDD dominated her life for more than 25 years. It remained hidden behind a wall of secrecy and isolation. Exploring her condition through art, her latest socially engaged art experience – breaks down societal stigmas and offers an opportunity to encounter and understand BDD through the lens of the sufferer. Featuring a series of international exhibitions, innovative community engagement strategies and education opportunities, and a diverse series of programs and events, the project reaches beyond the gallery walls to examine creativity’s role in mental health, resiliency, and compassion.

Jamie D. Feusner, M.D, joined the faculty of UCLA’s psychiatry department in 2006. He is the director of the Eating Disorders and Body Dysmorphic Disorder Research Program at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Dr. Feusner has published extensively on BDD, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, and mood disorders and he has lectured nationally and internationally on these topics. He is currently funded by the National Institute of Health to study the interaction between anxiety and reward in adolescents with anorexia nervosa, and by the Nathan Cumming Foundation to study visual processing in BDD. Dr. Feusner has conducted and published the first functional MRI studies and the first electroencephalogram studies in BDD, and the first studies to directly compare the neurobiology of BDD to that of anorexia nervosa.

Active Minds is the leading nonprofit organization that empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking. They are changing the culture on campuses and in the community by providing information, leadership opportunities, and advocacy training to the next generation.

The SWC Body Image Task Force is a committee within the University Studies Abroad Consortium’s Student Wellness Commission. Their mission is to spread self-acceptance and positive body image, which encompasses mental, physical, and emotional health. Their motto is “Love yourself and be confident in who you are.”

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