Date of Award

2017

First Advisor

Jacob Fossum

Second Advisor

Kathryn Boswell

Abstract

This project addresses the ways in which painting, in particular the portrait, encounter a poetics of displacement in the painted look with the intent to disrupt scenes of objection and unsettle claims upon black and brown bodies. Through reading portraits as traces of memory and bodies in constant motion, this thesis explores how the [poetic] image is continuously reassembled in relation to what has happened before and what has yet to happen. Engaging with Jean Luc Nancy, Fred Moten, and Denise Ferreira da Silva, this thesis attempts to interrupt scenes of colonial and racial subjugation in order to question the possibilities and impossibilities of the work of the portrait. In examining forms of violence enacted in painting portraits, it is necessary to discuss the interrelationships between race and the portrait. This thesis has two parts: a written component and a series of portraits in the form of oil paintings and prints. Through writing, painting, and printmaking, this project seeks to [re]encounter the painted look as a site of autonomy and even, perhaps, refuge.

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