Humor is a subtle and nuanced weapon, capable of puncturing collectively held truths, whether real or imagined, emergent or engrained. Through the creative act, the collusion of multiple ideas produces an outcome that subverts norm or expectation. Performance is strategic resistance to the anxiety of personal and political status [quo].
Performing the self we are otherwise afraid of confessing, language and humor are tools to reshape notions of being and what’s becoming [of woman]. Through, with, and in play with words and worlds, the single-level is splintered. Trying on ideas and personas, grasping through discomfort, humor eschews the immediate logical read or reason. Porous and multifaceted, i.e. many faced, humor allows us to simultaneously laugh with and/or at, to condone or condemn, to dissipate or re-distribute anxiety.
Fearing if the veil should be lifted or the mask pulled back, humor is an evolutionary strategy and an adaptive mechanism. Sometimes the only way to rebel is to revel. Hope is an expression of need. Laughing through the valley of tears, humor is not the absence of tenderness, but its abyss.
Clare Halpine received her BFA from Mount Allison University in 2005 and her MFA from the University of Washington in 2017. Her work has recently been shown at the City Arts Spring Art Walk Awards event, the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, King Street Station, WeWork Holyoke, and at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Forum in New York City.
Master of Fine Arts
[blockquote author=”Professor of Photomedia, Ellen Garvens” pull=”normal”]“Clare, somewhat embarrassed, confessed in a critique that she always loved to play dress up as a kid and perform in front of her family. Her desire to “dress up” has taken us all on a wild ride — turning this toddler compulsion into an art form getting progressively more sumptuous and poignant. Her instinct is the same — her body is the medium for us to experience both a political urgency and pointed humor.”[/blockquote]
Ellen Garvens (chair), Rebecca Cummins, Aaron Flint Jamison, Adair Rounthwaite, Tivon Rice, Michael Swaine