14 artists explore online identity through lipstick, overalls, and cake
Alexandra Marzella, Ambar Navarro, Hobbes Ginsberg, and Parker Day stick it to patriarchal power structures in the group show 'Me.'
Is it better to have someone else tell your story or not have it be told at all? Questions of visibility and self-presentation have been posed for decades — and are still very relevant — by marginalized groups who don't run Hollywood. But the internet is a slightly different world. A new group show, Me, brings together 14 intersectional feminist artists using social media to express their diverse identities. And even to help shape new ones.
"Understanding that self-presentation can produce a new or mirror self outside of the existing self of the artist when introduced to an audience, the artwork often takes on a meta quality thus making it playful and open for new paths of consideration," say curators Rachel Cardenas Stallings and Natalie Neal. "The work is an attempt to gain control of how they are perceived by others which empowers these female artists."
The artists in Me include Ambar Navarro, Alexandra Marzella, Hobbes Ginsberg, Parker Day, and the curators themselves. Through self-portraits and self-expression, Rachel and Natalie hope to open up a dialogue about ways that women, minorities, and LGBTQ people can imagine a "me" that exists outside of dominant power structures. Though even "dialogue" isn't a clear-cut concept.
"Rachel and I asked the participating artists to make a rendering of the word 'me' for all our promotional materials because we want to highlight the diverse identities expressed in the show, and to make it clear that the idea of self is personal," Natalie Says. "One of our queer artists told me they don't even identify with the idea of 'me,' and Victoria Jang's and Grace Rosario Perkins' renderings of the show's title don't use text or words at all. It's important to us to say everything we want to say and then at the end to acknowledge the limitations of language."
An opening reception for "Me" takes place April 8, 2017 from 7-10pm at Nous Tous Gallery & Store in Los Angeles, with two performances beginning at 8pm by Jennifer Moon and Alix Vernet. The exhibition is on view until April 30, 2017.
Text Hannah Ongley
Images courtesy of Natalie Neal and Rachel Cardenas Stallings