New-Self-Portrait-Paradox

With films by Mohammadreza Farzad, Azin Feizabadi, Shana Moulton, Monira Al Qadiri, Neda Saeedi, Cathleen Schuster, Mounira Al Solh, Pilvi Takala, Tris Vonna-Michell, and Carey Young, as well as design objects by Nanu Al-Hamad.

Recent artist self-portraits are redirecting the genre. Sharing a lack of concern with both the status of artists in society and the artist’s personality, these works generate a paradox: artists’ apparent need to focus on themselves in order to deal with broader, more complex matters in an adequate manner. As diverse as the approaches to the own self may be, they unite in their insistence on a defined speaking position and in their emphasis of the artists’ personal involvement in matters that extend far beyond their personal spheres.

In contrast to new modes of self-representation in social media, these new artist self-portraits are not concerned with identity performance. Instead, they appear to transpose the legacy of feminist art practices beginning in the 1960s and their commitment to politicizing the private sphere into a contemporary context. Interestingly, this new kind of self-portrait has evolved primarily in the mediums of video and film—in an ambiguous shift away from the more stable, fixed self in photography or painting in favor of the moving image.

Opening the 2016 cycle at MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38, New-Self-Portrait-Paradox is presented as a series of Sunday-afternoon screenings, including various New York and US premieres. Selected screenings will be followed by artist talks.

Curated by Nina Tabassomi

Graphic design: Leila Tabassomi