Please join us for the opening reception with the artists on Friday, February 6th, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Concerns about identity have risen to the forefront, as more and more people worry about privacy in the age of the Internet. Additionally, more and more people are constricted by racial and sexual classifications that no longer accommodate an evolving society. Labels such as gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgendered, white, black, African-American, Latino, Hispanic, Asian, tall, short, thin, fat, Jewish, Catholic, Atheist, are used to define us, often found on census forms, marriage licenses and medical records. Our own government issues us social security numbers through which our identity is codified. In today’s age of gender equality, multi-racial families, and increasing security breaches, more and more artists are looking at issues of identity and classification. Identify brings together five artist whose works address these current concerns.
A 19th c. photograph by Felix Nadar of a young woman’s back and her hair, inspired Tara Bogart’s modern hair study. This simple depiction of womanhood, as seen from behind and shirtless, allows viewers to create stories about each person based on hairstyle, shape, and body marks. Heather Dewey-Hagborg creates 3D resin portraits from analyses of genetic material collected in public places. Working with traces strangers unwittingly leave behind (gum, cigarette butt, hair), Dewey-Hagborg extracts DNA to create genetic profiles that are then put through a facial algorithm. The end result are portraits that speak to today’s culture of biological surveillance and has proved prophetic, as forensic science moves towards genetic profiling. Jess T. Dugan explores the power of identity, desire, queer experience, masculinity and connection through portraits of herself and others. Her work explores the nuances of sexual identification, challenging the viewers’ biases and need for categorization. Michael Itkoff sources instructional booklets from the early-to-mid 20th c. on Karate, Yoga, Aerobics and other physical activities that are rooted in the Western ideal of body perfection. Presented as short GIF-like videos, his pieces capture the idealized figure flexing, dancing, stretching and gyrating, all in the name of perfection. Collaborators Garth & Pierre create installations from scanned cutout snapshots of male faces that are mounted to bank pins, placed directly into the wall. The work references the historic use of photographs for scientific categorization and identification, and invites the viewer to think about gender, and the traits that make us unique.
Each artist brings a unique perspective to the subject matter, reflecting his or her own individuality and identity. We hope to see everyone at the opening reception with the artists on Friday February 6th.