April 22–June 7, 2014

An exhibition in three parts, Hyper-resemblances explores how both modern and contemporary artists have experimented with different notions of representation as filtered through psychological, mechanical and digital lenses. In interchanges between embodied vision and the external world across various media, the grouping of works focuses on relationships between subjectivity, image production and reality. This show examines the role of the artist in reflecting and shaping images of both the self and “society.” Through modes of conceptual self-portraiture, montage and digital mediation, these artists subjectively construct contemporary consciousness.

Hyper-resemblances is curated by Alison Coplan, Heidi Hirschl, and Kathleen Langjahr.  It is the second presentation of the MODA Curates series—an annual opportunity offered by The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery and the MA in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies Program (MODA) for outstanding curatorial proposals related to students' theses.

Coined by Jacques Rancière, the term “hyper-resemblance” deftly embodies the theoretical underpinnings of each curator’s project: it refers to an image that refuses to be defined by the reality in which it resides and, rather, establishes its origin and interior identity in the pursuit of a truer vision.

Kathleen Langjahr's Cut, Print: Women Dissect Culture Through Film and Collage seeks to establish a genealogy in which film and collage are considered within a larger framework of montage techniques. Women artists played an essential role in the development of this history, and Cut, Print examines how and why these techniques lend themselves to examinations of identity and selfhood. An array of works dating from 1926 through the present traces a lineage that is at once artistic and critical. Works by Maya Deren, Germaine Dulac, Hilary Faye, Hannah Höch, Breyer P-Orridge, Carolee Schneemann, Mickalene Thomas and Kara Walker will be included.

Through the Looking Glass: Logics of Contemporary Self-Portraiture, curated by Heidi Hirschl, presents contemporary symbolic self-portraits which undermine conventional notions of likeness, demonstrating the contingency of identity and the evolving reconceptualization of the self as multiplicity. Groupings of the work of Louise Bourgeois, Chuck Close, John Coplans, Xing Danwen, Andrea Dezsö, Carlee Fernandez, Tom Friedman, Julie Heffernan, Roni Horn, Jennifer Knaus, Dave McKenzie, Yasumasa Morimura, Vik Muniz and Evan Penny, brings a renewed emphasis of meaning and ambiguity, rather than clarity and exposure regarding self-portraiture. The age of the ‘selfie’ requires reflective exploration of this historical yet evolving genre.

Alison Coplan’s REALITY FX explores how artists both create and expose constructions of reality, mediated by the digital technology with which we experience the world. These works challenge the concept of a hegemonic reality put forward by modern media industries and demonstrate how existing power dynamics can be rearranged when artistic subjectivity engages with these technologies. The artists featured here are: Aram Bartholl, BFFA3AE, Nicolas Ceccaldi, Petra Cortright, Aleksandra Domanović, Marisa Olson, Hito Steyerl and Ryan Trecartin.