Photographs by Susan Harbage Page.

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by Susan Harbage Page, DeborahWillis
Southern Cultures, Vol. 26, No. 2: Art & Vision

“By gilding her passport, Page renders its emblematic privileges into an explicit ‘golden ticket.’”

Artist Susan Harbage Page uses her US passport (collaged here) to explore her relationship to citizenship, mobility, and access. This self-reflexive art piece figures gold leaf as a signifier of treasured possession and links notions of worth and wealth with inclusion in the body politic and privilege. Page’s choice of material calls to mind illuminated manuscripts and sacred paintings, the precious metal reserved for depictions of what was most revered—the divine, sainted, and celestial. A malleable element imagined alchemical. A color evoking worth(iness), currency, fortune, and means. By gilding her passport, Page renders its emblematic privileges into an explicit “golden ticket.”