ART2102 is pleased to present Self Formations, an exhibition exploring the notion of self through viewpoint shifts and displacements of actuality. Bringing together the work of three artists – New York based Carter, and Andy Alexander and Kerry Tribe both from Los Angeles – Self Formations showcases various strategies used to understand what constitutes the self. These approaches are anchored in a space between body identification, language and the shaping of personality, and attempt to find clues in the world of perception that exists between oneself and others. Moving away from an understanding of identity that is based on a scientific model, a type of addition of biological and socio-economic factors, the work in this exhibition favors methodologies of an empirical nature, often relying on trial and error. Substituting one’s critical knowledge for other people’s perceptions, we are here invited to fragment, sometimes escape from an everyday reality in order to better grasp who we are.
In Double, a multifaceted self-portrait, Kerry Tribe leaves the burden of defining herself to five different people. Shot in documentary style, Double showcases women who share a certain physical likeness, a place of birth in the East Coast and a career in video art in Los Angeles. These women however turn out to be actresses who answered a casting call placed by Tribe to play the role of the artist herself. In this detached self-portrait, Tribe lets strangers define who she is after only a short interview with them. Beyond the physical similarities and the biographical information they could gather, the actresses essentially act out their perception of Tribe, her mannerisms, her diction, her insecurities. What is further revealed here is the cognitive space between the participants of this experiment, as Tribe has left as much room for what it is to be an actor as for what is perceived to be an artist.
Andy Alexander finds in Science-Fiction a futuristic, fantasy-driven reality that offers a displaced perspective on the present. As such, epic stories like Dan Simmons’ Hyperion series were the parallel universe that Alexander inhabited for a significant period of his life. In a series of Minimalist sculptures, Alexander used the Sci-Fi novels that had occupied him for months, and inter-sliced them with clear Plexi blocks, which formally expand the physicality of the books, while they simultaneously create and fill a void between each tome, acting as remnants of the real world, or a manifestation of the time that paced the reading of each novel.
In a series of pen and ink drawings, Carter uses two generic, abstracted silhouettes which he brings to life by layering on them attributes such as hair locks, noses, eyes. Inspired by old barbershop graphics, the figures often bear fine facial hair features. The multiplicity of any one detail collaged over the portraits, such as a number of noses stacked up on each other, suggests the necessity to define the subject in a multifaceted manner. This strange and fragmented puzzle is reminiscent of Dr. Frankenstein’s creation. Here again, the method used is one of trial and error, where the portrait is constantly in flux and the gesture of finding the right representation is part of the identity of the subject.
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