The conceptual subject matter of in_tension falls between two major categories: the personification of two conflicting female roles (the need to be a nurturer and the longing to be an object of sexual desire) and the amalgamation of biological and societal foundations in which we see ourselves and others. These two major categories are more principally bound by the larger schema of relations between the sexes and the molding of our desires through social conventions. My artwork tends to explore the conflict many women encounter—including myself—of which roles they wish to partake and the friction between the voyeur or the exhibitionist, the mother or the mistress, the photographer or the subject. The juxtaposition between performance and voyeurism has always been prevalent throughout my work, between familiar templates and the content within them. The friction of unresolved conflict can be found throughout the exhibition, from the Ishihara Test Series to the Sampler Series and Love Swing. Through the juxtaposing of various diverse elements, it is my intent to bring the viewer’s attention to a variety of female specific conflicts. The third-wave feminist notion of reclaiming power over cultural imperfections through mimicry and performance is a prevalent and hopefully successful strategy in my exhibition. It continues to influence my work. While it is never my intent to answer all the questions surrounding the themes of my artwork, it is my hope that my work sparks discussion that adds to a greater visual discourse.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Women in art; Sex role in art; Voyeurism in art; Sex in art
Department, Program, or Center
School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)
Mulligan, Therese - Chair
Ross, Alicia, "In tension" (2007). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus