Cave of Forgotten Dreams - University of Hartford / Joseloff Gallery - October 30 - December 20, 2017

Marina Abramoviç , Robert Beck, Stanley Brouwn, Thierry Delva, Tracey Emin, Spencer Finch, Werner Herzog, Kelly Mark, Magnus von Plessen, Jennifer Reifsneider, Natalie Waldburger, Martin Wilner


What is a portrait?  Is it a likeness, only? Can a portrait be a likeness, but not be ‘about’ the subject? Is a portrait about the artist, or the subject? Can a self-portrait not be about the self?  Or is there a way in which all art is, in the end, about the artist – and therefore all art is self-portraiture?

The self-portrait is in some senses the most fundamental of artworks.. The first work of art, handprints on a cave left 50,000 years ago was – simply - a self-portrait. 

I am.

I was.

In this way, the self-portrait is a trace element in the history of consciousness. The human drive – expressed often as the drive to “leave a mark” – is the drive of a human subject to be seen, pictured, or remembered in some way. Much of human creativity arcs towards the monument. While the artists in “The Cave of Forgotten Dreams” each make their own subjectivity the subject of the work exhibited, in each case the self is depicted not through mimesis, but through surrogacy, allusion, redirection or the refraction of the notion of self from noun to verb, from subject to object, or from self to other.