Portrait of the Icon as a Young Woman: Photography and the Making of Stardom
Featuring guest speakers:
Amanda Konkle, Department of Literature and Film Studies
Bridgett Conn, Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art
The persona of the celebrity thrives on the tension between images of the public and private—or the performed and the authentic—self. This tension is frozen in time in the many star-studded portraits that comprise “Portrait of the Artist,” an exhibit of photographic portraiture currently on display at the Jepson Center for the Arts. In this lecture, Dr. Conn will discuss the various methods of creating portraits of the “real” person behind the star persona, dispelling the idea that a photographer need only be in the right place at the right time to capture a compelling image. “Behind-the-scenes” photos of stars “as they are” on set often reveal how the stars see themselves, rather than the roles they are scripted to play. As Dr. Konkle will discuss, this is heartbreakingly true for Marilyn Monroe, whose final film role put her in the position of confronting the star persona she had crafted through poised and polished photos with a raw, exposed version of herself as a young woman rather than a star. Together they will explore how the stars we think we see are often a fantasy created by the “ocular proof” of the camera’s lens.
Free and open to the public.