Structures of Identity
Photography from The Walther Collection

Museo MARCO, Monterrey
2/22/2018 — 6/3/2018

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 their images to affirm or challenge social stereotypes, particularly those constructed around notions of race, gender, class, and nationality. Emphasizing the work of artists—and sitters—who use the medium to subvert visual expectations, and challenge markers of identification, the exhibition questions notions of a stable, authentic self. In particular, it focuses on how photographers have used serial imagery—related sequences of photographs, rather than individual images—to explore the political and cultural factors that shape individual and collective subjectivities.

Structures of Identity is a traveling exhibition representing an expansive cross-section of The Walther Collection. It originated in 2017 for a presentation at AIPAD and is tailored to each additional venue, maintaining the same curatorial framework.

RFK-116_Walther Collection_Fani Kayode Rotimi_Untitled_1987-88
Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Untitled, 1987–88
RFK-118_Walther Collection_Fani Kayode Rotimi_Every Moment Counts_1989
Every Moment Counts, 1989
RFK-127_Walther Collection_Fani Kayode Rotimi_Nothingto Lose XII_1989
Nothing to Lose XII, 1989

The exhibition includes series and sequences made by artists from Europe, the United States, Asia, and several countries in Africa, as well as earlier documentary and vernacular photography. In many cases, these investigations have focused on portraiture, with particularly evocative self-representations used to question the social construction of identity. Other photographers have examined landscapes, the built environment and public space, exposing the social and physical underpinnings that inform both collective and individual identities. All of these efforts reflect the ways in which visual forms and archival structures construct and reinforce social attitudes.

David Goldblatt, Unemployed men and Krugerpark government housing scheme for lower and middle class whites, Pretoria, Transvaal, "Structures," 28 October 1986
David Goldblatt, The monument at left celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Republic of South Africa. The one at right is to J G Strijdom, militant protagonist of White supremacy and of an Afrikaner republic, who died in 1958. At rear is the headquarters building of Volkskas (The People’s Bank) founded in 1934 to mobilise Afrikaner capital and to break the monopoly of the English banks, Pretoria, "Structures," 25 April 1982

Highlighting the different ways that social identities are regarded within the broader history of the photographic medium, Structures of Identity illustrates the continued efforts of The Walther Collection to discuss and consider the history of photography beyond conventional cultural, geographic, and temporal boundaries.

Artworks on display

    Artists on display

    About Museo MARCO

    The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (MARCO) is a major contemporary art museum located in the city of Monterrey. In addition to hosting temporary traveling exhibitions, since 1994 MARCO has made an effort to amass a permanent collection, which to date includes over a hundred paintings, sculptures, installations, and graphic artworks by well-known artists, primarily from Mexico and Latin America, but also from Europe, the United States, and Canada. With the vision and motivation of sharing this important collection with its audiences, MARCO organizes exhibitions drawn from its holdings and presents them in the museum's spaces.


    Museo MARCO
    Calle Juan Zuazua s/n, Centro
    64000 Monterrey, N.L.
    +52 (81) 8262 4500

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