Brenner, Picture Yourself

Picture Yourself, 1991; mixed media installation: 16” x 20” black & white photographs in gilded frames, velvet drape on wooden rod; wall paint; dimensions variable (approx. 144” x 144” x 108”)

This installation uses simple means to suggest a Victorian parlor or portrait gallery. A velvet drape, pulled back in a swag style, hangs at the entrance to the room in which nine photographs in Victorian, cameo-style gold portrait frames are displayed. The images of the women contained within the frames, however, seem more like the proverbial “madwomen in the attic,” than the likenesses one would expect to find here. Two of the photographs are copied from fashion advertisements, and four from nineteenth century “medical” photographs of hysterics. The remaining three images are photographs of a live model. In some cases it is not clear which photographs are from which sources. By mixing sources of images I draw parallels between them and raise questions about who is posing and who is not.
All material © 2018 Susan Brenner or the respective owners.