Vivie Behrens

Juror's Distinction

← Return to From Afar: 2020 Senior Art Exhibition



My work examines public understandings of history, identity, and nationhood. By assessing the mechanisms by which we remember—family snapshots, oral histories, and collected objects—I represent the home as a site for the formation and circulation of cultural myths. Often working with images that refer to my familial past, I use my relatives (and by proxy, myself) as characters that portray notions of gender, domesticity, and heritage in contemporary American life. This modular approach aims to show how patterns of hegemonic thought persist in the intimacy of domestic spaces, a quiet mimicry of larger social conceptions of power. By participating in these theatrics, I develop a lexicon that describes the key signifiers of dominant American culture. These markers often relate to location, ideological alliances, and ancestry, which I use to describe the persisting codes that regulate American systems of community and belonging. Both personal and ethnographic, my work examines how visual culture adapts to social phenomena over time.




Back to top