Event Information

Date & Time
November 3, 2011 -
5:30pm to 7:30pm
The Clayman Institute
589 Capistrano Way Serra House
94305 Stanford , CA
California US

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Artist's Reception for Tammy Rae Carland


The Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research proudly presents I’m Dying Up Here, an exhibition of photography and mixed media works by Bay Area artist Tammy Rae Carland.  Taking the pioneering humor of early female comedians as her point of departure, Carland’s work tackles the hilarious, absurd, and often abject world of stand-up comedy.  Her large-scale color photographs isolate female performers in the glaring spotlight of vacant stages. With their faces obscured and bodies askew, the struggling performers dramatize the precarious balance between aggression and self-alienation inherent in the comedic act.  One comedian crawls on her knees in a stuffed banana suit, another irreverently balances a mop on her head defying her own collapse.  If stand-up permits a space for the transgression of gendered social norms and the outward expression of hostility, it also remains a site of vulnerability.  Carland’s Punch Line text pieces evince this fragility in transcripts of trailblazing comedians Moms Mabley, Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers, and Bette Midler.  With only their punch lines revealed in matte windows, the viewer must make meaning of their brash quips peppered with incredulous wit and self-denigrating humor.  In these precarious moments of suspension – the climax of a performance, the punch line of a joke – Carland captures the volatile exchange between female performer and audience as well as the delicate line between explosive laughter, political subversion, and toe-curling shame. 

The reception is free and open to all and light refreshments will be served.  The exhibit will be displayed from October 24 - December 16 at Serra House.  It is available for viewing Monday - Friday from 10:00am - 4:00pm.



    • Artist
    • Professor at the California College of the Arts
    Tammy Rae Carland is a Professor and Chair of Photography at the California College of the Arts.  Represented by Silverman Gallery, her work has screened and exhibited in galleries and museums internationally including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin, and Sydney. In 2011, she was featured in the Instanbul Biennale and the Bay Area Now 6 exhibition at The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco....