The Museum of Failure is an ongoing project that will eventually contain many rooms. This is the version installed as part of the 2008 Whitney Biennial.
The Collection of Impossible Subjects: a despairing tribute to all the urgent and pressing subjects in the world that are so problematically served by art; the ultimate triumph of context over subject matter. The work consists of a twelve foot by eight foot rear-illuminated plexi-glas mirror that was hand-engraved and sanded by the artist to create a drawing of an old-fashioned salon style museum wall where all the elaborate frames, with the exception of one which is open, are empty. The reflection of the viewer in the piece provides the context for the exhibition of nothingness. The rear of the piece is open, revealing the fluorescent lights that make the engraved drawings glow and illuminating Invisible Self-Portrait in My Studio which is visible through the piece’s opening.
Invisible Self-Portrait in My Studio is part of an on-going exploration of the impossibility of adequate self-representation. It consists of an eight foot by twelve foot painting in oils on six wooden panels of the identical collection of frames shown in The Collection of Impossible Subjects with the difference that the frames contain paintings based on photographs of the artist taken in a mirror in her studio where the artist is obscured by the camera’s flash. In a tribute to the unbridled narcissism that all self-portraits represent, the photographs show the studio in the process of painting Invisible Self-Portrait in My Studio, so that the artwork itself becomes both the subject and object of the work.