Casey Kauffmann

Casey Kauffmann is an interdisciplinary artist whose digital and drawing practices address the contemporary performance of self as it relates to her experience of femme representation, social media, and reality television. She received her MFA from The University of Southern California and her Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Washington. Kauffmann’s work has been featured in LAWeekly, The New Yorker, I-D Vice, Hyperallergic, and has been exhibited in galleries such as Transfer Gallery, the Brand Library in Glendale, Leimin Space, and more. Her collage Instagram project @uncannysfvalley, which she started in 2014, features digital collage works and GIFs created using only her iPhone. The pieces Kauffmann posts to this account are an ever-accumulating collection of material from all corners of the internet, sourced from Tumblr, Instagram, and Google. Her drawing practice functions as an inquiry into representation of femme emotion and hysteria in both art history and popular culture. 

caseykauffmann.net  [caseykauffmann.net]

@uncannysfvalley

 

Casey Kauffmann

Cassandra (drawn 2), 2019

Chalk pastel on paper

4.75 x 6.5 inches 

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Casey Kauffmann

Casey Kauffmann

Cassandra (drawn 4), 2019

Oil pastel on paper

32 x 40 inches 

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Casey Kauffmann

Cassandra GIF 1, 2019

No sound, color, drawing app and video manipulation

5 second loop

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Cassandra GIF 1

Cassandra (drawn 4) from the series, Who is She? represents hysterical femme expression and emotion visible throughout art history and modern society. Cassandra––the priestess from Greek mythology whose prophecies were accurate, but not believed––became the seed for stereotypical representations of hysterical women. In this work the artist captures a moment that exists not only within art history, but also prevails in images of women in contemporary culture. Kauffman says she aims to “filter representations of women, predominantly authored by men through her own perspective, translating and amending her uncomfortable relationships to these images.” Kauffmann digitally manipulates the isolated element of Cassandra’s anguished cry in Cassandra (drawn 2) using the liquify tool in Photoshop, then renders this in a chalk pastel drawing on paper. She then repeats the process by scanning the Cassandra (drawn 2) and digitally manipulating the drawing using liquify followed by a larger oil pastel rendering in Cassandra (drawn 4). This repetition produces a generative series of works, each iteration building off the last. The vivid, rippling effect heightens the representation of the emotional state of the figure, her underlying delicate facial features eclipsed by her hysterical expression.

Kauffmann is well aware that the liquify tool is This tool is often used to beautify women and to enhance or foreground their body shapes. Here she very consciously uses the tool in an opposite way—to exaggerate the hysterical femme expression. In this way, translating the image between physical and digital representation, she liberates the hysterical representation from its original context and asks us to reconsider its meaning. The generative works in Who is She? ask the viewer to consider how emotive expressions are compounded over time and history, calling into question the authorship of those representations and their subsequent contemporary manifestations. – Rueichen Tsai with Casey Kaufmann

ABOUT THE CURATOR

Rueichen Tsai is graduate student in curatorial practice and urban planning at the University of Southern California. Due to his industrial design background, he considers an inspiring product can bring convenience into our lives and guides us toward a work-life integration, so does the work of cultural creation. He aims to become a cultural planner.

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