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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Final Major Project: Considering Others – Hannah Wilke

Wilke coined the term “Performalist Self-Portraits” (, 2017), performing in front of the camera for photographers. In her self-portrait in figure 1, Wilke’s stare is compelling and conveys a similar deadpan look to that portrayed in my images.  Stylistically, my images are very much like Wilke’s. The lighting used in both cases gives a soft edge to the portraits. Other similarities are the direct look into the camera and the simplicity of the image. Both have an honesty and vulnerability portrayed in the gaze of the subject.

“A pose can be a strong armour. It plays with the economy of looking and being looked at in a self-empowering way.”

– (Kohl 2015: 83)


Figure 1: Hannah Wilke. 1992-3. Intra Venus 7, (left image in diptych)

In both figures 1 and 2, “the photos are another attempt at making “yourself into a work of art instead of other people making you into something you might not approve of”” (Wilke in Kohl 2015: 96)


Figure 2: Sutherst. 2018. The bags under my eyes are Chanel


Hannah Wilke: Excerpts from Writing About Hannah Wilke. 2017. [online]. Available at: [accessed 10 June 2018].

Kohl, J. 2015. Hannah Wilke: Intra-Venus. In: Venus as Muse. From Lucretius to Serres. Hanjo Berressem, Guenter Blamberger, Sebastian Goth (eds.). Rodopi: Amsterdam/New York.


Figure 1: Wilke, H. 1992-3. Intra Venus 7. (left image in diptych) © Donald Goddard.[online]. Available at: [accessed 10 June 2018].

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