PORTRAITS: Suite 1, 2, 3, 4


The process behind PORTRAITS isn’t complicated but it requires some reading.
Read it here, or watch a short video about PORTRAITS below:

I produce performances that embody, and point to, inter-related ideas on Identity

– how buying makes me who I imagine myself to be.
Shopping is my practice and buying is my process.
My products resemble the goods, services, and bi-products of consumption and

they are collectively titled metaconsumer.


In PORTRAITS, I’m a customer in Kmart seeking customer service in the women’s clothing department– seeking a collaborator. I tell a fictional story to the store employee to inspire a response–this is our medium. The story helps to inspire what the best outfit for the day might be according to the woman I am working with– Suite 1-4 are women collaborators. She chooses my makeup, accessories, shoes, and undergarments. With a $100 gift card I buy all of the items chosen for me. After buying, I dress in the fitting room where my collaborator meet OK’s my look. After approval, I head to the in-store Olan-Mills portrait studio. During the portrait sitting I mirror the photographer as he/she directs me through standardized poses–like when and how to smile and where/how to position my eyes. I try to embody and reflect the photographers demeanor. After the portraits are taken I return to the fitting room, remove the clothes, and return them to reimburse the gift card for the next store. Two weeks later I return to the portrait studio to purchase the portraits chosen for me by the photographer. These are the portraits you will see in PORTRAITS: Suite 1, 2, 3, 4.

AMERICAN PORTRAITS, Suite 1, 2, 3, 4 (2002-2009) facilitated by Liz Rywelski