Self/Portrait/Text presents a unique collaboration between celebrated Canadian publisher Mille Putois, and Concordia University's Departments of Painting & Drawing and Art History. Forty self portraits and eleven corresponding texts, developed over four months, will be on display. These works constitute the content of a corresponding, limited-edition, hand-bound, seriographed publication of the same title. The voluminous body of work reflects not mere production, in the classical sense of artistic output, but also new approaches to pedagogy that prioritize interdisciplinarity, and professional development.
In the conception of Self/Portrait/Text painters were challenged to think of their work in the language of print and art historical theory, while art historians were invited to work directly with emerging artists to produce texts and engage in dialogue about the history of the portrait, and the value of the book as an enduring form of visual and material culture. All contributors were encouraged to produce works in written and drawn/painted formats, thus complicating the traditional binary between artist (creator) and art historian (observer). Further, the book makes no distinction between undergraduate students, graduate students, or faculty members, confounding traditional hierarchies within the university.
Self/Portrait/Text was a pedagogical experiment supported by the Next Generation Learning Initiative's Curriculum Innovation fund, which seeks to foster sustainable, interdisciplinary teaching at Concordia University. Dr Cynthia Hammond, Chair of Art History, and Professor Éric Simon, Chair of Studio Arts, were one of the first teams to receive this award in the 2013-14 academic year.