Syracuse University Press has released the two inaugural volumes in its new Critical Arab American Studies series. This groundbreaking series features innovative scholarship and cutting-edge theoretical work that extends the study of Arab Americans beyond Orientalist and Islamophobic paradigms. The…
‘Capturing Identity: Selections from the Light Work Collection’
Light Work presents “Capturing Identity: Selections from the Light Work Collection” in the Robert B. Menschel Photography Gallery through Dec. 14. This exhibition, curated from the Light Work Collection by museum studies candidate Lindsay Erhardt, features work by Barry Anderson, Justyna Badach, Michael Buhler-Rose, Neil Chowdhury, Kelli Connell, Jen Davis, Rachel Herman, Laura Heyman, Ayana V. Jackson, Shane Lavalette, Ohm Phanphiroj and Michael Tummings.
“Identity can be personal, cultural and religion-based, or determined by a relationship. It can be something forced upon you, defined for you, decided by you and taken from you; yet, in many ways one’s identity is ever-changing and therefore indefinable. Through portraiture, and using photography as the tool, many artists today are asking us to question how we identify others and ourselves. Their imagery, consequently, is redefining and challenging our stereotypes and our understanding. It is important that artists take on this challenge—they become a vessel to bring about change, even if this change happens to the smallest degree.
“These images are connected by pursuit of the distinguishable, the classifiable—identity. They are meant to stir something inside us—when we look upon them, we are made to think, question, challenge our upbringing and what we have been told. As we gaze upon them, they will gaze back. All of these photographs have and bestow power and it is left up to us what we do with it.
“Photographs in this exhibition come from the Light Work Collection. With donations from the Artist-in-Residence Program (AIR) or artists receiving a Light Work Grant, the collection is constantly growing. It contains all original work, including color and black-and-white photographic prints, alternative processes, as well as computer-generated imagery, collages, artist books and installation pieces. The collection can be viewed and accessed through the online database via the Light Work website. Having a permanent collection exemplifies Light Work’s commitment to contemporary photography and the creative process.”
-Lindsay Erhardt (curator)