Is That Me? Micro-Self Portraiture

Maureen Eckert
1117 Douglas Ave. Apt. 208
N. Providence, RI 02904


Art Training
1980 – 1987  Art Students League of New York

1992  Hunter College, BA Honors Curriculum (Philosophy and Classical Studies) Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa
2002  CUNY Graduate Center, MA, Philosophy
2004  CUNY Graduate Center, Ph.D., Philosophy with Distinction

Associate Professor and Department Co-Chair, Philosophy Department UMASS Dartmouth

Group Shows
1985   Group Show (So freakin’ long ago I can’t remember exactly where — an abandoned building on 2nd Ave and Houston that became a Community Center)
2003   “Four Chicks,” Access Theater, New York, NY

1988  RICERCAR Gallery, East 1st Street, New York, NY (no longer in business)
1998  The Present Company Theater
1980 – Present: Portrait and Human Figure Photo Gallery

Currently Up (Solo)
2015   Providence Power Yoga, 51 Bassett St. Providence, RI

2015   Providence Power Yoga Annex, 16 Bassett St., Providence RI

Up-Coming (Solo)
Julian’s of Providence, April 2016
AS220, “Physical Graffiti,” April 2017

100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words #30 “Star Coins” 
New York Times, 2010 “Paradoxical Truth,” Portrait Photograph

Is that Me? Micro-Self Portraiture” is a series of staged and processed “selfies” that are an attempt to recompose my self, my sexuality, my…  During one of my shoots in my Tattoo Macro project one of the people I was photographing openly discussed her survival of sexual assault that was behind the tattoo she wanted me to photograph. I am also a survivor of sexual assault, and our conversation went far beyond tattoos. Although I had been in psychological treatment and had my yoga practice grounding me, that night was the first time I spoke freely about what had happened to me. It was as if a strong lock had been forged inside of me and she handed me the key. The final thing I needed. My Tattoo Macro project had brought me an unexpected gift and a messenger I will always treasure.

My love for photography comes from my way of understanding what photography is — the technological manipulation of light so as to capture instances of the perpetual flux that is perceived “reality.” I do not believe that photographs capture “reality itself.” And that is the greatest thing about it. Behind the camera, I am a magician; not in some mystical way, but like Houdini and Penn and Teller. Since I also believe that some illusions can serve to direct us at truths, this power to manipulate light into static images is more than enough to go on. And so I have turned this power on myself.

“Is That Me?” is a series of interrogations regarding the horrific and the sensual and the sublime. They involve acting and staging, although it is hard to tell if my method is acting or some other kind of performance. I couldn’t say. I was given a choice, “the hard way or the easy way.” When asked this, you most likely will have only a second or so to decide. I am still waiting for my Academy Award. In the meantime, you get these photographs.

These photographs owe a great deal to Cindy Sherman, who helped pave the way for feminist photographic re-appropriation. I am utilizing the most accessible photographic technology to produce them — an iPhone and Photo Editing Apps, so they are produced and designed for the small computer screens we use ubiquitously. They can be printed, and the prints come out well, but must be adjusted for resolution. Small-scale photography for the internet and devices can be its own thing, not some lesser art, at least I think so. I want these photos to be accessible. Locking them up forever, even metaphorically, would be wrong. I just wish I knew how I can show them.

Medusa Gallery
             Inspired by real-life events and Caravaggio’s Medusa

Tattooed Love Girl, Saints, Sinners and Other Icons Gallery
Inspired by the passion of plain day, the armies of emotion that come out at night and the battlefields of history

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about My Hair but Were Afraid to Ask

You Don’t Want To Know