Carmine Iannoccone '83

"I guess all these twists and turns have made for a pretty heterogeneous career, moving across several different fields and operating from several different positions. Although that has come at the expense of a certain kind of professional advancement, the spirit of comparative study — of playing one thing off another, of learning through the search for similarities within diversity -has been the driving energy, and it found its first expression in the Comp Lit department at Dartmouth."

I took the drama part of my senior thesis very seriously, and went on to study performance at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. This led to a minor acting career in which I hopscotched from London to New York and eventually to Los Angeles where I currently reside — although I no longer act.  In retrospect, I would say that acting was a way of transitioning from the kind of critical study of art that I did as an undergrad, to the active production of art that I wanted to do as a career. Once I had made that leap, I felt emboldened to proceed to the kind of art I was really drawn to producing, which was not literary, but object-oriented.

I enrolled in an M.F.A. program at the Otis College of Art and Design, and embarked on my current path of work as a sculptor. I have attached some images from my two most recent exhibitions — "Re-Public Works" and "Useable Histories" — and anyone who is interested will find an archive of past work and reviews at my gallery's website: This may seem like a far cry from the literary concerns of Comparative Literature, but it isn't. My critical skills simply switched from the life of literature to the life of objects. Upon receiving my M.F.A., I spent many years writing for a variety of art journals and newspapers (most notably the magazine Art issues, where my reviews of contemporary art appeared in the same copies of the journal that launched the career of Dave Hickey, who is probably one of the most influential art critics writing today). I also began to teach at this point, and the courses I have designed for visual artists all build directly upon the kind of critical theory I studied at Dartmouth. I'm currently developing a seminar at Claremont Graduate University called "A Field Guide to Contemporary Fantasy" in which we will compare themes in contemporary fiction to analogous trends in visual art. I also teach an overview of visual art theory to undergrads at the University of Southern California, Roski School of the Arts.