Identities (2011)

Curated by sjjames
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There is a certain value attached to one's self identity and how they choose to showcase that identity to the people around them. As a parallel, there is a value on others' opinions on that identity as well. Someone with a high value on their personal identity and a low value on others' opinions on that identity will probably hold true to their beliefs under any circumstances whereas someone who may have a low value on that identity, but a high value on the importance of others' opinions of it may find it easy to transform to please. No matter where an individual lies within this very wide spectrum, that true inner self is there, screaming to be recognized and accepted. “Because You Asked” is a great tool not only in showcasing one's personal identity to others, but also in discovering that identity for oneself if it has become unclear over time. An individual can navigate this self portrait answering personal questions as truthfully or as deviously as desired. The result is the ability to see a representation of any chosen identity and deciding if it is good enough, not for society, but for the individual. The user is given the option to delete the self portrait and begin again from scratch. The “Photographic-Diary Project” is a similar evaluative tool. After a year of one's life is logged, he or she can assess the way they showcase themselves more clearly. Because the documentation of this project is so extensive, candid moments and one's true essence is bound to be captured. This will ultimately lead to discovery of one's own behaviors and habits that may have gone unnoticed. “She is Always Walking Away” and “Chloe” represent characters who have possibly lost that sense of who they are, but are searching for that voice to share anything possible. “She” is displayed as a mysterious character and the audience is left to draw conclusions that inevitably stem from social and gender tendencies. Although “She” does not tell her own story, a narrative forms that describes the character's development. “Chloe” is a character raised in front of a camera and is ever-aware of the audience watching her. As the artist Eduardo Navas describes, “she [gives] the viewer a sincere look -- or at least [tries] to,” hinting at the fact that because she has always been watched, she is detached from her real feelings and cannot even give a genuine reaction, though she shows a longing to. “Your sFace or Mine?” is a tool to help aid those find their voice who have lost it. It is a tool of expression and of self-expression. Every detail is carefully chosen in order to transcend a specific message about who an individual knows that he or she is. “15X15” is a project for those who have found their voice and know how they want to be represented, and are allowed a 15 second canvas to do just that. Being true to oneself and being able to express that is a constant battle that all are facing, however, interactive arts such as the projects in this exhibit are doing a great job in educating individuals on the importance of their input in the world whether or not others agree.


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