This multi-media exhibition highlights the intersections between contemporary portraiture and depictions of social, political, and military power. The topics of individual and group identity, and the forces shaping how we see self and other are approached through direct references to noted works from art history, connecting past events to current issues. From Miguel Ángel Rojas’s photographs of a young, maimed Colombian soldier posing as Michelangelo’s David,to Ori Gersht’s restaging of Jean-Bapiste-Siméon Chardin’s 18th-century still life as a video painting, to Marc Fromm’s transformation of a 15th-century portrait by Petrus Christus into a life-size sculpture, these artists quote from the canon of art history to examine the contemporary human condition. The broad spectrum of imagery on view suggests a cyclical, rather than linear, perspective on that most powerful of forces, the passage of time.
From images of daily life in South African prisons by Mikhael Subotzky, to explorations of potent intersections of consumerism, politics, and religion in works by Ye Hongxing and Carlos Aires, to haunting portraits that capture subjects both real and imagined by Christian Schoeler and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, these visionary artists create aesthetically and conceptually engaging works that reflect how we live and die, work, play, and dream in the 21st century; their revelations may inspire insights into how we might build and share a progressive future worldwide.