Exhibition includes work inspired by Jane Austen


An exhibition of the works of the artist Jennifer Dudley will open at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey, on February 5. The works include The Analyst:

The Analyst couples a double portrait painting and a psychoanalyst’s couch. The painting, Portrait of the Artist and Jane Austen, depicts a scene taken from director Ang Lee’s film adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility.

The exhibit is representative of Dudley’s varied working process. The starkness of the painting and the psychoanalyst’s couch has the impact of the viewer making a deeply intimate connection to the painting.

In Portrait of the Artist and Jane Austen, the film’s two starring characters have been replaced. In their stead is a portrait of the artist fully absorbed in anguish and directing the emotion to a fictional representation of Austen, whose gaze is turned outward toward the viewer. The painting faces an analyst’s couch, which invites the viewer to inhabit the space of the psychoanalyzed patient and to view the painting from this position.

Dudley’s reincarnation of Austen’s fiction prods ideas about character identification and emotional authenticity, and questions our culture’s complicated relationship with history and authorship. The viewer of The Analyst is invited to participate in a similarly generative act by occupying the space of the psychoanalyzed patient on the analyst’s couch.

Tell Auntie Jane all your problems…

Thanks to Alert Janeite Lisa for the link.