Brianna Humbert

 

Brianna Humbert

Brianna Humbert is a senior majoring in the History of Art & Architecture with a minor in French language. Her research focuses on women artists and often takes on a feminist perspective. She is interested in a range of topics in modern and contemporary art, including identity, performance, collective art projects, and feminist art of the 1970s. Brianna is currently working on an honors thesis project on the work of contemporary artist Sheryl Oring, specifically her performance titled “I Wish to Say,” (2004 – present). In this work, Oring travels to public places dressed as a 1960s secretary, sets up a desk area with a banner announcing the art project complete with a vintage typewriter, and asks passersby to dictate a message to a political figure, which she consequently sends. Utilizing the image of the secretary and an analysis of Oring’s performance, the thesis will provide a feminist reading of how the stereotype is employed. The paper explores the research question: does the nostalgic secretarial persona empower Oring in her mission to provide agency through her performance or does the artist succumb to the stereotype?

During her time at the University of Pittsburgh, Brianna has been a volunteer at the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art, and a research assistant at the University Art Gallery. She has also participated in the Museum Studies Exhibition Seminar, helping to curate and install the fall 2015 exhibition Exposure: Black Voices in the Arts. In February of 2016, she received funding from the Friends of the Frick Fine Arts Research Award to travel to Washington DC where she met and interviewed Sheryl Oring. While there, she observed and engaged in the artist’s ongoing participatory art project, “I Wish to Say.”

Brianna will be presenting this research at HAAARCH as well as at the annual Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies conference in April. She hopes to devote more time to researching contemporary women artists through graduate study, eventually leading to a career as a professor of art history

Categories: 
  • HAAARCH!!! 2016
  • Undergraduate Work
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