Diana Stapleton is an interdisciplinary artist who works with video, found film footage, poetry, storytelling, paint, paper, mixed media, and performance. Her visual, written, and academic works touch on themes of intimacy and alienation, power and vulnerability, touch and sexuality.
Diana received a BFA from the University of Arizona in new genres, printmaking, and women’s studies in 1997. During her twenty meaningful years in Tucson Arizona, Diana regularly participated in solo and group art exhibitions and video screenings in many Tucson venues, and was a part of the artist co-operative Central Arts Gallery.
Until the economic collapse of 2008, she owned and managed a local coffee shop in Tucson. It was an important gathering space for the LGBTQI community. She regularly curated art exhibitions, music events, and poetry readings of local artists and performers.
Diana has exhibited artwork at Femina Potens gallery, The Wattis in San Francisco, Studio 110 in Sausalito, and had screened her video work at Oakland’s Artwalk, ATA, and other local venues. She has written reviews of art exhibitions for Shotgun Reviews featured in Art Practical.
Currently Diana lives in Oakland and is pursuing an MFA in Video/Media Arts, and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the California College of the Arts.
Things that Stick: Felicité à deux
Normative society presents the nuclear family and its image, as the only significant, meaningful, intimately bonded, social, and emotional unit. Mother and child have full access to physical closeness and emotional intimacy within the familial and social spheres. In fact the mother is suspect if she cannot perform and maintain an intense physical and emotional bond. Because regulations on physical and emotional contact are gender and age-based, the contact between a mother and her female child is exempted in ways that other relational pairings are not.
Visual representations of intimacy and touch set expectations that correspond to public, familial, and gendered interactions. Those who are good at performing this set of expectations are given special privileges and those who are uninterested or less adept at this performance are marked as deviant. Images of mother and daughter that are considered erotic, illicit, or pornographic exploit the visual and social exemptions afforded to mother and daughter. Through this crevice I will interrogate the naturalized regulations placed on physical touch and intimacy.