Date of Award

Spring 3-2015

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Author Department/Program

Graduate School of Art

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art

Degree Type

Restricted Access Thesis


Feelings are Facts.

“A Conversation to Hold | The Intimacy of Performance” is in the form of an imagined conversation between self-as-artist and self-as-inquisitor (a.k.a. my conscience).

Kellie Spano invites the reader to embrace an empathetic model through a creative practice built on the physicality of embodiment. A deep commitment to performance allows Spano to negotiate female desire, sexuality and beauty through the media of film and photography. Invoking feminist models such as Audre Lorde and Leigh Bowery alongside theoretical writing by Lauren Berlant, Hélène Cixous and Celine Condorelli, Spano asserts her claims. This thesis-as-dialogue delves into empathy through vulnerability, solidarity, and presence to awaken that within us that feels -- ultimately asking its readers to try a little tenderness.


English (en)

Program Director

Patricia Olynyk

Program Director's Department

Graduate School of Art

Committee Member

Jessica Baran

Committee Member

Jessica Baran

Committee Member

Heather Bennett

Committee Member

Cheryl Wassenaar

Committee Member

Annamaria Pileggi

Artist's Statement

Permanent URL:

Available for download on Monday, April 21, 5000