Inside My Head: A Contemporary Self-Portrait (2020)

Website of the Hebrew University Art Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel

Beset by migraines since childhood, Crown was inspired to create art–and to reinvent the genre of self portraiture–using MRIs of her own brain. The result is a mesmerizing virtual exhibition, INSIDE MY HEAD: A Contemporary Self Portrait (2013), in which she animated the high-tech images of her internal landscape and projected them on two concave screens. “I think of it as painting with tools of technology,” says Crown.

The piece is a self portrait rendered from the inside out, an intimate view of her cerebral topography, the architecture that holds her thinking process. As the images are manipulated, rotated, tweaked and shown from different perspectives, they reveal structures that appear dense and opaque, squiggly and fuzzy, reminiscent of jagged snow-covered peaks and a dark starry night sky. 

“I view them as abstract forms and topologies that could be micro or macro in size,” says Crown. She often studies landscapes and maps in her art; it’s the various shapes and patterns that interest her. My work is “just a connection between what is happening in our bodies and what is happening in the larger world,” she says.

Missing is the loud hammering of the MRI machine, which has been replaced by a soothing violin instrumental–an original musical interpretation of Crown’s brain activity. As the shapes change, so does the music. “The music is my brain’s anatomy that was literally put into a software program and converted to sound,” Crown explains. 

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