Aperture Foundation, a leading New York based arts institution dedicated to promoting photography in all its forms, and School of Visual Arts, an art school in New York City whose mission is to educate students who aspire to become professional artists, have partnered to present a group exhibition of works by alumni of SVA’s BFA Photography Department that explores issues of role playing and identity in the twenty-first-century. Identity Identities (i / i), curated by Stephen Frailey, chair of the BFA Photography Department at SVA, with an accompanying essay by Seth Greenwald, supports Aperture’s mission to promote the work of promising young artists.
The show debuted at the Galleria San Ludovico in Parma, Italy, and was originally coordinated as an exchange between photography students in Parma and the students of SVA, creating two unique shows, both dealing with the theme of identity, that traveled to the other’s country. Aperture is pleased to present the New York debut of the SVA student exhibit in its gallery space, located at 547 West 27th Street in the heart of Chelsea’s art district. The exhibition will open on Thursday, July 30 from 6:00 p.m.– 8:00 p.m. and remain on view through August 20, 2009.
Identity, it has been suggested, is not static, but rather a shifting state of affairs that can be investigated, assimilated, and then rejected, as one does an outfit or a new hairstyle. Today’s successful face transplants performed in France, China, and the United States; gender reassignment surgery; the ubiquity of cosmetic procedures; emotional modification through pharmacology; the commercial cloning of family pets; telecommuting in the work place; and social networking tools that facilitate new communities online: all are examples of how the ways in which we identify, both with ourselves and with others, are bending and evolving.
In Identity Identities (i / i), eleven promising young artists explore the various permutations of identity in today’s rapidly changing world through the fluid and evolving medium of photography that is perhaps best suited to tackle this subject. Themes include how identity manifests itself through group identification, the places we live, and the influence of mass media and advertising.