March 26-May 8, 2011
n the wake of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, investigations of identity emerged as a prevalent artistic mode. Further fueled by cultural movements and critical discourse such as feminism and queer theory, artists working in the 1980s and 90s frequently took on various disputed identitiesgender, sexuality, racein their work. Explorations of identity continue to occupy the creative practice of artists working today.
Photo Identities is a selection from the Benton Museum’s permanent collection of photo-based works from the last four decades on the subject of human identity. Working in photographic methods ranging from elaborately staged photography to photography in the documentary tradition, artists represented here disrupt preconceived ideas of types by picturing complex identities both observed and invented. Participating artists include Tseng Kwong Chi, Maria Magdalena Compos-Pons, Dawoud Bey, Shirin Neshat, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew and Collier Schorr.