The Play and Staging of the Self: Five Photographers on Identity features the work of emerging and established photographers Laia Abril, Jen Davis, Olya Ivanova, Lindsay Morris, and Chris Rijksen. On Identity will be on view from Wednesday, Sept. 10, through Saturday, Oct. 25, with an opening reception on Sept. 10, 6–8pm. An Artists Talk with Chris Rijksen and Lindsay Morris will also be held on Monday, Sept. 15, 7–8pm. On Identity explores the construction of identity and its ongoing evolution, with a special emphasis on the play and staging of the self. Here, the act or experience, rather than biological history, is highlighted. As boundaries between socially and culturally constructed identities, including body modifications, are reexamined within diverse arrays of sexual and gender groups, the malleability of the self is revealed, and a new transparency of the function, role and position of identity emerges.
In this assembly of photographs, the construction of identity varies as radically as the modes of dress in Chris Rijksen’s Gender as a Performance series, in which the artist executes a fluid performance of self-portraiture in both traditionally masculine and feminine attire. In both Laia Abril’s Asexuals Project and Olya Ivanova’s Weirdo the individual is presented as part of a group identity in order to gain visibility, understanding, and legitimacy in an increasingly networked age. In contrast are scenes from Lindsay Morris’ You Are You series, wherein gender non-conforming children play out their interpretations of gender at a weekend summer camp, and Jen Davis’ webcamseries, in which Davis pairs self-portraits and screenshots of “Alexi,” an invented object of desire. While diverse in both their approach and aesthetics, each series casts a fresh glance on the making and experience of identity in an ever-changing social landscape.
Chris Rijken: Gender as a Performance 10 Chris Rijken: Gender as a Performance 14
Chris Rijken ©
Lindsay Morris: Meadow
Lindsay Morris ©
Jen Davis: 11.27.2009
Jen Davis ©
Laia Abril: Mike Laia Abril: Lea
Olya Ivanova: Vova Olya Ivanova: Katya Budnik
Event photographs by Patricia Koo