Structures of Identity
Photography from The Walther Collection

Museo Amparo, Puebla
10/21/2017 — 2/5/2018

Oje 543 Bis557 Walthercollection Ojeikerejdokhai Untitledhairstyles Grid 1970 75

About the exhibition

Structures of Identity examines how photographers across a range of cultures and historical periods have used portraiture to affirm or challenge social stereotypes constructed around notions of race, gender, class, and nationality. This exhibition includes series and sequences made by artists from Europe, the United States, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. These efforts reflect a precise and widespread practice of using portraiture within a larger classificatory grid, whose images document the ways that visual forms and archival structures inform social attitudes.

SW 1838 Sue Williamson Helen Joseph
SW 1839 Sue Williamson Miriam Makeba

Emphasizing the work of artists—and sitters—who use portraiture to subvert visual expectations, and challenge markers of identification, Structures of Identity questions notions of a stable, authentic self. The exhibition shows how some photographers and their subjects have capitalized on the power of photographic portraiture to explore changing notions of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity.

MS 216 Walther Collection Sidibe Malick Vues De Dos Back View Untitled 1999
Malick Sidibé, Vues de dos (Back View), 1999
JB 932 Jodi Bieber Babalwa 2008
Jodi Bieber, Babalwa, "Real Beauty," 2008

Structures of Identity deploys an approach that highlights the different ways that subjectivity and social identity are shaped and regarded within the history of the photographic medium, and illustrates the constant efforts of The Walther Collection to discuss and consider the history of photography beyond conventional temporal, cultural, and geographic boundaries.

Artworks on display

    Artists on display

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