- 12.30.2012 / Susan Miller Co-Curated a Top 10 Bay Area Exhibition of 2012
- 07.09.2012 / Susan Miller Curates, Matthew Tedford Contributes
About Susan Miller’s Thesis Project
Occupying the Portrait: (C)overt Acts of Self-Portrayal in the Art of Carter, Daniel Clowes, and Cory McAbee
Carter, Daniel Clowes, and Cory McAbee are three American contemporary artists who “self-present” in their narrative artworks, meaning that they are not simply making self-portraits, but frequently appear as themselves, intentionally, and often undercover, in their fictional projects. In addition to self-presentation, each invokes the tools of portraiture, conflating identification with identity. The resulting works are neither portraits nor self-portraits, but hybrids of the two. The philosopher Judith Butler states that identity is a product of social forces outside the self, and that agency is always possible within these external constraints. In considering works by these artists, it is possible to see how self-presentation operates in the visible and public platform of their fictional artworks to open up the possibility of agency—even personal transformation.