(In these respects, Bozic was exactly like Carl.)Bozic doesn’t refer to the woman in the photographs in the first person; her name is merely “Carl’s girlfriend.” The narrative being played out in the series is not one that parallels (or inverts) Bozic’s own romantic story.
It is so evident that Bozic the artist and Carl’s girlfriend are separate identities that when the term “self-portraits” slipped from my tongue, I immediately tried to suck the words back in.
She says her new work “focuses more on contemporary society and how we want it all — we want our desires fulfilled by our partners and our lifestyles.” The Dating Portfolio consists of fifteen 30 x 40-inch colour photographs featuring the same dating couple: a woman, played by Bozic herself, and a man she’s named Carl, represented by a mannequin.
The portraits are shot in actual locations — night clubs, homes, or outdoors — and are filled with references and symbols of “the good life.” For example, Carl drives a Ferrari.
But is she meant to represent Susan Bozic, or some fantasy version of the artist?The art of dating has only recently entered the world of art, where, in the words of Bill Jeffries, curator of Simon Fraser University Gallery, it constitutes “a sufficiently new phenomenon that a body of theoretical discourse has yet to develop around it.” Dating itself, he goes on to say, now has its theorists, one of whom, Natalie Flynn, claims to have traced the concept of dating as we know it to about 1910.Before then, courtship rituals were part of chaperoned forms of social mixing such as church outings, picnics, sleigh rides, hay rides and community dances.An exhibition catalogue was published jointly in 2008 by Simon Fraser University Gallery, Rodman Hall Arts Centre at Brock University and Southern Alberta Art Gallery. Susan Bozic studied photography and film at Concordia University in Montreal and lives in Vancouver.Several samples from her portfolios can be viewed at