Self-portrait as Clone of Jeanne d’Arc, 2019
With Self-Portrait as Clone of Jeanne d’Arc Bunny Rogers offers a gateway into the mythology of her generation. Employing erasure not as a literal gesture but rather as a playful, rhetorical figure, Rogers removes her own image as the subject of self-portraiture and replaces it with an adopted persona—the angsty Joan of Arc from MTV’s cult hit Clone High, an animated series that aired between 2002-2003. Blown up to monumental proportions, Roger’s serial self-portrait features her alter ego in fifteen different positions and situations, including a plethora of symbols and references drawn from her personal life and pop culture.
Using the cartoon character as a surrogate of herself, Rogers spins a web of associations that are both subjective and relatable. In her practice, Rogers often references the world of online gaming and the malleable identities endemic to role-playing and fantasy communities while exploring themes of alienation, violence, desire, and the elastic notion of self that is present in contemporary life and mediated society. Using her character as a proxy, the artist also reflects on the complexity of adolescent femininity—and its inherent angst, ferocity, desire, and narcissism.
Rogers posits Self-Portrait as Clone of Jeanne d’Arc as a continuing act of masquerade. The work underscores her conviction that gloom can function as a productive state through its commitment to drama and that viewing life as theatre creates a detachment that allows one “to process an otherwise crushing environment of extremes”.
Her uncanny yet fantastic portraits provide a portal to the world of a 21st century superheroine. Exhibitionist but also intimate, the portraits are an array of changing roles Rogers feels compelled to embrace. Putting her fight with both the external and inner forces on display, she lures you into her beautiful, obscure cosmos and the constellation of personal tales.