- 9.13.2013 / Watch Henry Witecki Present at Annual VCS Symposium
- 8.20.2013 / Sightlines Essays from VCS Class of 2013 Now Available
About Henry Witecki’s Thesis Project
Suddenly Another Me Is Dead: The Art of Tyler, the Creator
This project presents a strategy for reading and understanding the video and performance work of the popular culture icon Tyler, the Creator. Drawing from Judith Butler’s theory of performing identity, José Esteban Muñoz’s work on disidentification, Slavoj Žižek’s notion of subjectivity, Avital Ronell’s ruminations on stupidity, and more, it argues against existing popular interpretations of Tyler’s artistic production. Rather than embodying one character or archetype, as many popular hip-hop artists do, Tyler empties and then refills his core subjectivity with a plethora of drastically different stereotypes and archetypes. Furthermore, rather than fully embracing these roles, he combines strategies of mockery, reverence, and disidentification in the crafting of some very dense media. In doing this he resists the process of projecting a generalized identity onto people we recognize as other. Beneath its controversial surface, Tyler’s work executes a discerning cultural critique.