Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2016

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




This thesis is a drawing,

But also a love story.

It is an attempt to use language as a substitute for the visual, as a means of communicating the tactile—the mark. It follows the fragmentary structure of Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse in an attempt to invoke a similar discursive site, of “someone speaking within himself, amorously,”[1] but one where the portrait of the lover is revealed to be a portrait of a man— a self portrait. The fragments take the form of marks, of the masculine or as a means of achieving masculinity: punch, lick, hunt, tame, penetrate, battle, kiss, breed, wrestle, score, consume, kill, fuck, win. When quoting Barthes, the words lover is replaced with masculine, not with the intent to mislead the reader, but merely to acknowledge Barthes’ lover is clearly already male by his choice of pronouns and other language. This thesis will provide little of an analysis of my artwork or any artwork, but instead present a working archive of the multiple references, artists and otherwise, from my own readings, listening, and experiences as they relate to gender, body, and self.

Barthes begins his book with these words:

The necessity for this book is to be found in the following consideration that the [masculine] discourse is today ‘of an extreme solitude.’ This discourse is spoken perhaps, by thousands of subjects (who knows?), but warranted by no one; it is completely forsaken by the surrounding languages: ignored, disparaged, or derided by them, served not only from authority (sciences, techniques, arts). Once a discourse is thus driven by its own momentum into the backwater of the ‘unreal,’ exiled from all gregarity, it has no recourse but to become

[1] Barthes, Roland. A Lover's Discourse: Fragments. (New York: Hill and Wang, 1978.) 3.


English (en)

Program Director

Patricia Olynyk

Program Director's Department

Graduate School of Art

Committee Member

Lisa Bulawsky

Committee Member

Lisa Bulawsky

Committee Member

Heather Bennett

Committee Member

Lyndon Barrois Jr.

Committee Member

Jeffrey Uslip

Artist's Statement

Permanent URL:

Available for download on Wednesday, May 13, 2116