(b. 1971, lives in Chicago, Illinois)
CarianaCarianne is an artists’ collaborative consisting of two selves in a shared physical body. The pair co-exists and they participate cooperatively in the development of their projects. Delving into themes of identity politics and self-invention and exploring ideas of duality, their work crosses over from more traditional artistic mediums like drawing and sculpture into actions and performances that are deeply implicated in their own lived experiences. In Diploma (1999-2003), for instance, they completed two MFA degrees at different graduate schools, which were awarded to Cariana and Carianne as separate individuals. In the later project Reconstitution (2003) they appeared before a judge for a legally-binding name change, combining their first names into one and leaving off a last name.
Since 2001, video has played a prominent role in CarianaCarianne’s work, providing a means for them to visually articulate the body as a politically shared space and extending their investigations of how cultural systems organize conceptions of the self. In a number of projects they use video to record live performances, which they edit using split-screen techniques and later re-present. For many of these works, the original performance consisted of the two selves taking turns performing certain actions, such as falling from a standing position or reading from their separate last wishes in a shared legal will. The videos of the proceedings use a visual doubling effect to compress the two distinct sets of actions so that they occur side by side and unfold simultaneously, giving equal ground to both selves and creating an experience of synchrony.
CarianaCarianne hold an MFA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2001) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2003). Their projects have been featured at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Drawing Center, New York; and MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachussetts. Solo exhibitions of their work have been presented at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Croxhapox, Ghent, Belgium; and Ispace at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as other institutions. In 2007, CarianaCarianne were visiting artists at the College of Fine Arts, Illinois State University, Normal, IL and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.