Susan Silas
the self-portrait sessions

the self-portrait sessions are suites of self-portraits in which the two selves of artist Susan Silas inhabit the same frame. Each image juxtaposes a stark self-portrait in the foreground against a softer idealized portrait reflected in the mirror; a literal reminder of the divide between one’s self and one’s self-perception.

This project evolved out of a related project entitled; A child of sixties television singing songs that got stuck in her head, 2010. This video depicts the artist singing popular opening theme songs from late 50′s and 60′s television shows. Her isolated serenade is captured as she sings to her reflection in a large mirror. In her renditions of Bat Masterson, Rawhide,Yogi Bear, The Mickey Mouse Club, and other once popular melodies, Susan Silas enacts rituals of self-intimacy and create a commentary on aging, memory and the inevitable advancement of time. In the process of singing for the mirror, the artist had to take still images for the purposes of focus and composition and those unintentional portraits began to interest her as much as the video work and so she began to take still images of herself in front of the mirror in earnest. the plaster casts or death masks, were begun in 1992. The second cast was made 20 years later in 2012. Susan Silas will continue to make new casts going forward.



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