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Portal 15

Not on view

Portal 15

Artist: Ann Hamilton (American, born 1956)

Date: 1999
Medium: Black and white photograph
Overall: 1 3/4 x 13 3/4in. (4.4 x 34.9cm)
Markings: unsigned.
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 2003.4.1
Label Text
Ann Hamilton's artwork investigates the interface between our perceptions of the world and how we reveal our interior selves to the world. While language is a dominant form of human expression, Hamilton is fascinated by cognition through multiple senses and through the body. She has stated:

"I'm very interested in the hierarchies of our habits of perception, and how …we trust [words to] have more legitimacy than other kinds of information or ways of knowing. I think that I'm just trying to take this access and tilt it, so that the felt-quality of the words is equal to, but not dominant over, other kinds of sensory perceptions."

To this end, Hamilton created a series of images made from a pinhole camera held in her mouth. In this hyper-visual world, she finds that "eyes have become voracious like mouths." Hamilton describes the process: "I have made a set of pinhole cameras that fit in my mouth. So the act of speaking is like the act of letting light enter my mouth [or the act of seeing] … As I open my mouth I am exposing film. "

Hamilton's Portal series document herself looking at a mirror while in the Face to Face series she photographs other persons, places, and objects.

© Ann Hamilton