Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art
In my thesis document, I unpack the relationship of my photographs to space, bodies, language, and childhood through a feminist lens. The interaction with these various aspects alludes to larger societal structures that inform identity. I am interested in the negotiation between gender and the way it informs the occupation of space, both photographic and physical. The intersection between subjects and objects is dissected using the definitions of these terms set forth by Judith Butler. Becoming a subject does not indicate that one is free from the power that creates it. The figure in my photographs wonders if attempting to become like an object would allow release from these power structures. She attempts to understand how to operate within a woman’s body and to understand its limitations. The complexity of navigating the world in a woman’s body is increased with the confusion of postfeminism and its necessitation of performativity in public and private arenas. Postfeminism as it relates to performativity is essential to my practice. The figure is constantly contending with it as this is the contemporary state of existing as a woman. She acts as an outsider, like a child, who does not yet understand the implications of living in a feminized body.
Program Director's Department
Graduate School of Art
Mueller, Emily, "Big Girl | Little Girl" (2020). Graduate School of Art Theses. ETD 145. https://doi.org/10.7936/nsg6-am04.
Available for download on Sunday, May 08, 2022