subjecthood = the condition or state of being a subject
"It's in the act of having to do things that you don't want to that you learn something about moving past the self. Past the ego." - bell hooks
Zhang Huan, Ash Paintings and Memory Doors












Cecilia Garcia, Molly Peach, Josephine Truong, Farrah Su, and Audrey Chang




Alfredo Jaar, Gold in the Morning, 1987. Lightbox with color transparency.











Mariko Mori, Miko no Inori (The Shaman-Girl's Prayer), 1997.
Mariko Mori, Pure Land, 1997 - 1998.











Zhang Huan, 12 M2, 1994.
Performance, detail showing artist covered in honey, fish oil, and flies.


Coco Fusco and Paula Heredia, The Couple in the Cage: Guatianaui Odyssey, 1993.











"For his first exhibition at White Cube in 2009, Zhang Huan created an installation and series of paintings based on a renowned survivor of the recent earthquake in the Sichuan Province of China, a pig that lived, trapped, for 49 days after the quake, surviving on rainwater, rotten wood and a small amount of foraged feed. His survival was hailed as a miracle and he was given the name ‘Zhu Gangqiang’ (‘Cast – Iron – Pig’). According to Buddhist scripture, 49 days is the amount of time that a soul remains on earth between death and transmigration. The pig’s fortitude resonated with Zhang Huan, who drew broad parallels with his own narrative as both outsider and survivor, while the drive to persevere and retain hope, even under extreme pressure, recalls the spirit of Zhang in his early performance art. Using incense ash from Buddhist temples as his medium, he created a series of paintings on linen honouring Zhu Gangqiang. along with a number of vanitas paintings featuring skulls. Both groups of work celebrate the fleeting, sometimes heroic, nature of existence and the quiet, inevitability of the life cycle."
- White Cube
Zhang Huan, Zhu Gangqiang No. 9, 2009. Incense ash on linen, 43 5/16 x 59 1/16 in.











Zhang Huan, Night
Zhang Huan, 1959 National Day, 2010. Incense ash on linen, 169 x 394 in.











Wang Guangyi, Great Criticism series, Pepsi, 2005.












Shirin Neshat, Turbulent, 1998.











Wangechi Mutu, A Shady Promise, 2006.
Mixed media on Mylar











Wangechi Mutu, Family Tree, 2012.
Mixed-media collage on paper, 16.25 x 12.25 inches











"Wangechi Mutu observes: “Females carry the marks, language and nuances of their culture more than the male. Anything that is desired or despised is always placed on the female body.” Piecing together magazine imagery with painted surfaces and found materials, Mutu’s collages explore the split nature of cultural identity, referencing colonial history, fashion and contemporary African politics. In Adult Female Sexual Organs, Mutu uses a Victorian medical diagram as a base: an archetype of biased anthropology and sexual repression. The head is a caricatured mask – made of packing tape, its material makes reference to bandages, migration, and cheap ‘quick-fix’ solutions. Mutu portrays the inner and outer ideals of self with physical attributes clipped from lifestyle magazines: the woman’s face being a racial distortion, her mind occupied by a prototypical white model. Drawing from the aesthetics of traditional African crafts, Mutu engages in her own form of story telling; her works document the contemporary myth-making of endangered cultural heritage." - Merrily Kerr, Wangechi Mutu's Extreme Makeovers
Wangechi Mutu, Ectopic Pregnancy from the Adult Female Sexual Organs series, 2006.











Zackary Drucker and Amos Mac, Distance is Where the Heart is, Home is Where You Hang Your Heart, 2012.











Zackary Drucker and Amos Mac, Distance is Where the Heart is, Home is Where You Hang Your Heart, 2012.












Cao Fei, Hello Kitty! from the Cosplayers series, 2004.

Cao Fei, Second Life, ongoing











Carrie Mae Weems, Mirror, Mirror, 1987.











Joe Scanlan, Donelle Woolford avatar for Whitney Biennial, 2014.
Joe Scanlan, Donelle Woolford in Dick's Last Stand, 2014.

Woolford’s performance Dick’s Last Stand explores the central role given to the male sexual organ in both American art and politics, perpetuating the tradition of phallic humor in popular culture. It is a reenactment of Richard Pryor’s stand-up routine from the last episode of his short-lived 1977 television show, in which he continually played with the notion that Richard Pryor, comedian, was someone who could not be pinned down or controlled. Dick’s Last Stand honors Pryor’s brash political humor and marks its return to the live stage, with Woolford playing Pryor playing Pryor playing Mudbone, across generations and in drag! — Whitney Biennial 2014











Zoe Crosher, Mae Wested no. 3 (crumpled) from the Michelle DuBois Project, c. 2012.
Digital C-print, 36 x 36 in.











Zoe Crosher, For UR Eyes Only, from the Michelle duBois Project, c. 2009.
Zoe Crosher, Cindy-Shermanesque, from the Michelle duBois series, c. 2009.











"For all the images we have, we can still grasp only the faintest threads of duBois' narrative and inner workings. Crosher speaks to the impossibility of truly knowing a person and the impossibility of ever knowing oneself. Michelle duBois' ability to fictionalize is so great, her seeming lack of self-awareness so profound, that any truths that once existed - and for which the audience naturally searches - have wholly disappeared." - Emily Ellis Fox
Zoe Crosher, from The Disappearance of Michelle duBois, 2012.