Donna Haraway describes as the “god-trick” the pretending that one can “[see] everything from nowhere.” Though Haraway’s focus is on seeing aided by technology, her argument is relevant to claims that the images produced by artists and filmmakers are universal, unbiased, and timeless.My work uses the lenses of class and gender to examine the idea of a transcendent perspective.
Central to each collage in the series The View from Below is an image of a white man looking. Whether he looks at a desert lake, a New York City street, or a painting in a studio, the image locates him in time and space. His viewpoint is subjective, limited, and transitory. He is framed by the outline of a U.S. lake, an opening that references both the female body and an aerial, god’s-eye view—the view from above.
International Design is a drawing series which incorporate text taken from articles about homes. In place of the original image of luxury, I substitute an image of housing in the Third World. The text does describe the image but in a way that the article's focus on wealth is revealed as problematic. This project highlights how newspapers and magazines normalize expensive, fashionable, extravagant housing.
Artist Bio / CV
Elaine Kaufmann is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received an M.F.A. in Painting from Hunter College in 2004 and an M.A. in English Literature from San Francisco State University in 1998. She has also studied at the Frank Mohr Instituut in Groningen, Netherlands.
Kaufmann’s work has been shown in a range of galleries and museums, including the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Brooklyn Museum, Momenta Art, Schroeder Romero Gallery, the ISCP, the Center for Book Arts, Exit Art, and Rotunda Gallery.
Kaufmann was awarded an Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) residency from the Bronx Museum and an Independent Project Grant from Artists Space. In 2007, a collaborative project, Brainstormers, was awarded a grant from the Puffin Foundation.