Zoe Strauss (born 1970), Philadelphia, PA (Mummers Kissing), 2009
12017-03-17T16:15:57-07:00Bryn Mawr College383197083e2e957a4c01625eb8b832e0db85199c161551Laser print; Gift of Emily Croll; 2009.10.1
plain2017-03-17T16:15:57-07:00Bryn Mawr College383197083e2e957a4c01625eb8b832e0db85199c
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12017-03-15T15:21:55-07:00Bryn Mawr College383197083e2e957a4c01625eb8b832e0db85199cExhibition ChecklistBryn Mawr College25structured_gallery2017-03-21T20:20:54-07:00Bryn Mawr College383197083e2e957a4c01625eb8b832e0db85199c
When we look into a mirror, what do we see? Gazing at our reflection transforms us into images. Only our external appearance is visible in the mirror, while all the complexities of human thought and interiority may remain beneath the surface.
Many artists, in their own self-portraits, make use of the mirror's flattening effect. Yet the mirror image is not static. It poses the challenge of drawing a dynamic, living self always in flux. In this interaction between artist and reflection, the artist negotiates between image and interiority.
The mirror bids us examine our defects by knowing ourselves.” - Cesare Ripa, Iconologia (1593)
As Ripa indicates, the mirror has been conceived as a tool for understanding the self. It sets the stage for introspection and self-reflection. But such uses of the mirror are culturally and historically specific. Mirrors are used across time and place for distinct purposes and to sometimes contradictory ends. What can we understand about ourselves by consulting our reflections?
How do we choose what to wear? Is this choice entirely free? Whether it is selecting what to wear in the morning or dancing a mask as part of a cultural rite of passage, we fashion ourselves in relation to our social world. Dressing up in costumes or masks might allow us to perform our sense of self differently, disrupting the assumption of a singular self and demonstrating the performative nature of selfhood.
Is your sense of self, your identity reducible to your appearance? Sometimes we assume we can know something about people based upon their appearance. Do we use appearances to gender or racialize bodies? These artists use masks or mirrors to resist the ease with which we might interpret appearances as gendered or racialized identities.
1media/mirrors and masks header.png2017-03-15T15:26:54-07:00Curators7Bios of student curatorsimage_header2017-03-17T17:11:02-07:00 Alex Wilson
My desire to enter the art world has been confirmed by participating in this 360 course. I realize the level of influence a curator can have over the public based upon the decisions they make in an exhibition- from the words in a wall text to the positioning of the artwork on the wall. This exhibition is an embodiment of the creativity that a collaboration can accomplish, and my participation in this course has given valuable insight into the world of the curator. What made this experience so exciting for me was the fact that people from different backgrounds utilizing different art objects could make such a unified exhibition. I am honored to have been a part of such a wonderful group of student curators, and can only hope my co-workers in the future will have the same qualities as Bryn Mawr students.