Over the past twenty years, photography has undergone a dramatic transformation. Mechanical cameras and silver-based film have been replaced by electronic image sensors and microchips…
Rania Matar has produced an exhibition and a book of unique and subtle power. Focusing on contemporary young women from vastly differing cultures in the United States and Lebanon, her project, A Girl and Her Room, reveals the complex lives of her subjects in the unique setting of the girls’ own rooms.
While digital photography and image-editing software have brought about an increased awareness of the degree to which camera images can be manipulated, the practice of doctoring photographs has existed since the medium was invented.
Nancy Burson produced some of the earliest computer-generated portraits, and in collaboration with MIT engineers Richard Carling and David Kramlich, became a pioneer in the now familiar territory of computer-manipulated imagery. Burson continued to collaborate with Kramlich, who later became her husband. Together the two developed a significant computer program which gives the user the ability to age the human face and subsequently has assisted the FBI in locating missing persons. In Evolution II she combined the face of a man with that of a monkey to produce an imaginary portrait of a species (as well as a technology) in transition. This image was published in a series of manipulated portraits, reproduced in the book Composites (1986).
Aziz + Cucher have been collaborating on and exhibiting digital photography projects and sculpture since 1991. They live and work in Brooklyn, New York. Anthony Aziz began with an interest in documentaries and photograpy, while Sammy Cucher’s work originated in theatre and video.
Their collaborative interest is in “creating visual metaphors for the increasing role that new technologies play in our lives and how they affect us politically, socially, and psychologically.” They explore the possibilities for human beings in a time when we can transform ourselves and nature from “known forms into unknown forms” as a result of the potential inherent in the coming together of computer science, biotechnology, genetics and nanotechnology.
The Love Doll: Days 1-30
Feb 15 – Mar 26
In the fall of 2009, Simmons ordered a customized, high end Love Doll from Japan. The doll, designed as a surrogate sex partner, arrived in a crate, clothed in a transparent slip and accompanied by a separate box containing an engagement ring and female genitalia. Simmons began to document her photographic relationship with this human scale ‘girl’. The resulting photographs depict the lifelike, latex doll in an ongoing series of ‘actions’, shown and titled chronologically from the day Simmons received the doll, through to the present.
The photos reveal the relationship Simmons develops with her model. The first days depict a somewhat formal and shy series of poses with an ever increasing familiarity and comfort level unveiled as time passes. A second doll arrived one year later. This new character, and the interaction between the two, reveal yet another dynamic in composition – both formally and psychologically.
Anthony Goicolea’s photographs of “pre-adolescent boys” question childhood & school-life with transgressive and erotic imagery. Goicolea himself portrays all of the boys in his photographs through the astute use of costumes, wigs, make-up, and post-production editing via the software Adobe Photoshop.
“You and What Army” I act out childhood incidents such as fight scenes, first kisses, and deranged play dates. These works are simultaneously rooted in nostalgia and science fiction.
You and What Army Series: Class Picture
Many of the sets are constructed to depict suburban environments in which the cast of characters are seen undertakeing painfully awkward transformations as they undergo the journey from childhood to adulthood.
The self-portraits by the Japanese artist Yasumasa Morimura, Requiem for the XX Century: Twilight of the Turbulent Gods, examines an array of historical figures and political events that have been significant in shaping the 20th century. Employing his usual methodology, Morimura uses costumes, make-up and props to create unconventional and bold renderings of iconic images from history.
While Morimura’s work has traditionally investigated femininity through iconic depictions of women from art history and popular culture, this body of work examines widely disseminated images of prominent masculine figures from the last century. Each protagonist or event is cast in a moment of apogee, when history is being made and visually captured. Substituting himself for ideologues, dictators or brilliant minds such as Einstein, Lenin, Che, Mao or Trotsky, Morimura reflects on his personal encounter of these images during his lifetime as well notions of masculinity embedded in politics and war. By re-contextualizing portraits and events into present day, Morimura offers a fresh look at these prominent men who, moved by wisdom, hate, ideology or idealism have carved a space in our collective psyche.