Identities Exhibit to Look Beyond Portraiture
Professor Hopes Photos Stir Questions About Image vs. Reality
Jan. 23, 2008
Identities, an exhibit celebrating the donation of the Comer Collection of modern and contemporary photography, opens Friday Feb. 1 in the Cecil and Ida Green Center.
A reception is scheduled for 6:30 to 9 p.m. Feb. 1. The exhibition, curated by associate professor Marilyn Waligore, is free and open to the public and runs through March 7.
Waligore selected more than 20 works from the Comer Collection for the exhibition.
Works include photographs by Gay Block, Nan Goldin, Earlie Hudnall Jr., Martina Lopez, Anne Noggle, Gordon Parks, Mark Riboud, Andres Serrano, Cindy Sherman and Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie – representing nationally and internationally recognized artists, with several classic images from the history of photography.
Waligore explains describes some of the themes explored in Identities: “Photographs of individuals, as in portraits, tend to prioritize appearance or likeness. These artists move beyond the surface, to foster our re-examination of the relationship between photography and concepts of identity.”
“Images range from a display of hybrid identities, in an affirmation of existence, to a critique of socially constructed stereotypes,” she said.
In a recent National Public Radio interview, filmmaker Todd Haynes, who directed I'm Not There, observed that people tend to view identity “as something that’s sort of imposed upon us by society” but that individuals also can allow themselves to be different people at different times. The work in Identities addresses the possibility that identity is in flux, despite the camera's apparent ability to fix it.
The Cecil and Ida Green Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The gallery is closed Saturday and Sunday.
The Jerry and Marilyn Comer Photography Collection contains almost 100 photographs and includes important examples of mid- to late-20th century American photography.
Highlights of the collection include examples of documentary photography and photojournalism, including images of the Civil Rights movement, modern and contemporary American landscape photography, and postmodern photography.