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I'm Not There: Thoughts on Contemporary Portraiture
Leanne Gilbertson

Thursday, March 13, 5 - 7 pm, Columbine Hall, rm. 132

The naturalistic Western portrait historically aspired to a likeness that was intended to represent the inner essence of the person depicted. To look into the face of the portrayed was intended to affirm the individuality of the sitter, the portraitist, and the viewer alike. To look at another and to represent that look has been understood as a primary human act.

In the age of manipulatable digital photographs, proliferating "selfies" on social media sites, and increasingly sophisticated visual technologies, genetic testing and molecular cloning that expand our understandings of the limits of human vision and life, what are we looking at and what are we looking for when we look at the representation of another? In the wake of deconstruction that challenges the notion of identity as a separate, bounded entity and of performance art that actively rejects reproductive representation to bypass art's commodification, what becomes of the genre of portraiture? What does contemporary portraiture look like? What kinds of subjects emerge from contemporary portraits and how?

This presentation will consider the status of contemporary portraiture-a genre that continues to inform contemporary interdisciplinary art practice.

 

Leanne Gilbertson is an Assistant Professor of Art History and Director of the Northcutt Steele Gallery at Montana State University Billings. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies from University of Rochester, where her studies were supported by a Jacob K. Javits fellowship and Henry Luce Foundation dissertation grant. Prior to joining the faculty at MSUB, she held teaching positions at University of Pittsburgh, Sam Houston State University, and University of Toledo. She has served as Curatorial Assistant at the Andy Warhol Film Project, Whitney Museum of American Art and has worked in various capacities at MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), and University of Iowa Museum of Art. She has been invited to present her research at a number of regional, national, and international conferences and art institutions, and her writing on contemporary art and visual culture has been published in Art Journal, InVisible Culture, Pastelegram, and Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Studies.

 


Hours

5 - 7 PM
 
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