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Art History photograph with Marilyn Chiat and Mary Lodu seated on couch

On Purpose: Portrait of Art History

Contemporary artist Xavier Tavera practices what French philosopher Roland Barthes called “the impossible science of the unique being.” He invites his subjects to stand or sit, talks to them, is curious about who they are and what they do. He coaxes a glance, elicits a gesture, waits for them to settle into position. Describing the strange and estranging experience of being photographed, Barthes writes, “I decide to ‘let drift’ over my lips and in my eyes a faint smile which I mean to be ‘indefinable,’ in which I might suggest, along with the qualities of my nature, my amused consciousness of the whole photographic ritual.” Tavera works with, rather than against, his sitters’ self-awareness and invites their decisions, all the better to stage their own invention of themselves before the camera.
Portrait of Ashley Cope.

Museum Momentum: Fusing Intersectional Feminism and Art History

Attracted by the Department of Art History and the amount of opportunities to work in museums, Ashley Cope transferred to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Double majoring in gender women sexuality studies and art history, Cope is combining her passions to explore intersectionality within art history and how they influence one another and engage the community.

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