• MA in Visual & Critical Studies

  • Henry Witecki

  • Emily A. Kuhlmann - CCA Graduate Thesis Events

    Emily A. Kuhlmann

    William Pope.L, Tompkins Square Crawl, 1991
    Adrian Piper, My Calling (Card) #1, 1986-1990
    Wu Tsang, Shape of the Right Statement, 2008
    Thesis Symposium

    William Pope.L, Tompkins Square Crawl, 1991

    New York, Documentation Video Still, James Pruznick

    Adrian Piper, My Calling (Card) #1, 1986-1990

    Ephemera

    Wu Tsang, Shape of the Right Statement, 2008

    Video Still

    Thesis Symposium

    William Pope.L, Tompkins Square Crawl, 1991 thumbnail
    Adrian Piper, My Calling (Card) #1, 1986-1990 thumbnail
    Wu Tsang, Shape of the Right Statement, 2008 thumbnail
    Thesis Symposium thumbnail

    e.a.kuhlmann@gmail.com

    Thesis Abstract

    Making Visible Bodies: Artistic Interventions of Recognition and Responsibility

    To what extent are we responsible for what we view? And what does it mean to be responsible for how we view? Through an examination of Adrian Piper’s My Calling (Card) #1 (1986), William Pope.L’s Tompkins Square Crawl (1991), Wu Tsang’s Shape of the Right Statement (2008), and CHRISTEENE’s African Mayonnaise (2012), this project examines the ways in which artistic interventions implicate the position and agency of the viewer. In these works, the artists open a space for audiences to participate in, react to, and acknowledge social inequality and difference. By making oppressed lives visible, they force viewers to realize their own responsibility and culpability for the conditions they are witnessing. The performances utilize thematics of race, homelessness, and gender, as well as gestures of confrontation and recognition, in order to activate ever-present but often-ignored social hierarchies.