David Henry Brown
Guy Richards Smit
A group exhibition organized by Deborah Kass, the exhibition explores the breadth and range of the construction of self as a series of discardable performative options. The idea of performing persona has informed all aspects of thinking about the self within post-modern culture. The very concept of "self" has come to be seen not as a specific essence but as a series of performative options, something to be tried on, worn or discarded in as many variations as one wishes at any time one chooses.
Vito Acconci, Amy Adler, Eleanor Antin, Alex Bag, Guy Ben-Ner, Mike Bidlo, Garth Brooks, Delia Brown, David Henry Brown, Kathe Burkhart, Eric Doeringer, Charlie Friedman, Aunrico Gatson, Anthony Giocolea, Rupert Goldsworthy, Lee Gordon, Karen Heagle, Michelle Hines, Jonathan Horowitz, Jane Kaplowitz, Kurt Kauper, John Kelly, Alix Lambert, Nikki Lee, Sherry Millner, Laurel Nakadate, Adrian Piper, Carl Pope, Tom Sanford, Kiki Seror, Matt Saunders, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Guy Richards Smit, Michael Smith, Hiroshi Sunairi, Ike Ude, Andy Warhol, John Waters, May Wilson, Hannah Wilke.
Organized by Deborah Kass
"If I am not who you say I am, then you are not who you think you are."
A group exhibition organized by Deborah Kass, "Enough About Me" explores the breadth and range of the construction of self as a series of discardable performative options.
The Countess de Castiglione, Marcel Duchamp, Claude Cahun, Andy Warhol, Adrian Piper, Cindy Sherman. Artists have been representing themselves as or through other people in their work for over 100 years. The tradition continues; alter egos abound in shows from Williamsburg to Chelsea and in museums everywhere. There are so many generations of artists exploring these issues, that if you think you should have been in this show, you are probably right.
The idea of performing persona has informed all aspects of thinking about the self within post-modern culture. The very concept of "self" has come to be seen not as a specific essence but as a series of performative options, something to be tried on, worn or discarded in as many variations as one wishes at any time one chooses. Concepts of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality have changed dramatically within this context over the last 30 years. Photography, video, and performance are natural mediums for the subject that artists since the 70Â¹s have been exploring.
While so many photographers and performance artists transform their own bodies in their work, some painters find their alter egos ready-made in the media. For them, pop culture stars function as they do for most people, aspirational models and heroes. Why not paint these objects of identification as a way of describing oneself? In the supplicant position of fan these painters (deliberately or not) challenge the heroic essentialism of painting that some still hold dear. Perhaps in this way, issues of post-modern identity that so much performance and photo work have examined have crept into the recalcitrant practice of painting and opened it up a bit.
Culture (music, fashion, movies, art, literature, TV, even cyberspace) provides the common language for this discussion. Within it we look for our reflections and imagine our power. The artists in this show re-envision themselves through culture's lens. The resulting work is possible only when everything one can be is an option, at least in one's imagination.
Deborah Kass April 2002
Special Thanks to: The Outpost, Schroeder Romero, Claudia Joskowicz, and The Sculpture Center.
Image: Kathe Burkhart
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