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Dis-semblance Opening & Artist Lecture with Ben Durham
September 10, 2014 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pmFree and open to the public
Come celebrate the official opening of Dis-semblance: Projecting and Perceiving Identity. Join us for a welcome reception at 6pm, followed by a lecture with visiting artist Ben Durham at 7pm. 21c VP, Museum Director, Alice Gray Stites will also be in attendance to discuss the exhibition.
About artist Ben Durham: Extremely tactile and obsessively worked, Durham’s mark-making is a thorough and meditative exercise. Tracing his subjects’ footsteps while grasping at passing recollections, Durham’s investigative process is an attempt to reconstruct history through personal memory. Unarchiving narrative through the physical act of drawing, Durham reveals a more complete portrait, a complex history built from fact and reflection.
About the exhibition: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts…” William Shakespeare’s 17th-century words paint a prescient and insightful picture of how we conceive and communicate identity in this global, digital age. With unprecedented access to a vast array of cultural traditions, artists today sample from histories near and far, subverting conventional images of race, ethnicity, gender, and role-playing, reinventing portraiture as a new genre. The technoculture also inspires a material and metaphoric transformation of portraiture to reflect and respond to screen-based aesthetics and to delineate the influence of social media on the perception of self and others. In a constant state of projecting and connecting, how and what do we understand about ourselves and others?
Dis-semblance examines the evolution of portraiture as a platform for capturing the ebb and flow of the mutable, hybrid self, and as a multi-faceted mirror of the fractured identities we shape, desire, and exchange in our now intertwined analog and digital lives, onscreen and off. “We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us,” said theorist Marshall McCluhan, writing nearly a half-century ago about the cultural influence of the mass media. Assembling identity in the global, digital age requires integrating projections and perceptions of self and others across real and virtual platforms, within a technoculture in which we actively engage.
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> Learn about Dis-Semblance at 21c Cincinnati