Casino Luxembourg Forum d’art contemporain Second Lives Jeux masques et autres Je

Identities are constantly in a state of construction and deconstruction. While representation through the image of the body and identity permeates art history, it’s nothing new in itself. Except that, at the beginning of the 21st century, in the context of postmodern and cyberculture philosophy, a new generation of contemporary artists seeks to explore and probe this representation of the self and the Other through alternative means.

Aneta Grzeszykowska, “Untitled Film Stills #3,” 2006. Courtesy Raster, Warsaw

Postmodern thought, as a rule, postulates that the individual discovers otherness in relation to the self. Where formerly there was an attempt to respond to the question “who am I?” through a singular entity of self, the variability of identity henceforth becomes possible. In the course of his/her life, the human being can acquire multiple simultaneous identities which can even encompass contradictory attitudes. The general trend is towards a greater flexibility of identity and the definition of Arthur Rimbaud’s “Je est un autre” (I is another) is readapted in the postmodern era to “Je est plusieurs autres” (I is several others).

The recent development of cyberculture in the “communication society” contributes largely to the multiplication of identity. Online social networks enable everybody to create multiple profiles; virtual realities are—veritably—lived through “avatars”, characters representing a user on the Internet and in video games. This “poly-belonging” enables the individual to discover and express multiple facettes of himself/herself, to have the freedom to play with one’s own identity—through masks or not—and to open the way to otherness.

Faced with this protean shattering of identity, the response of artists today is translated in their artworks through the use of a variety of methods including the manipulation of images, imitation, quotation, appropriation, the setting up of wheels within wheels, etc. Through the artworks (photographs, videos, installations) of twenty-four artists, the exhibition Second Lives: Jeux masqués et autres Je highlights the ways of making and unmaking identities, as well as their influence on personal and collective existence, as diverse as the field of meanings they generate.

The exhibition is taking place within the framework of European Month of Photography for which this year’s theme is Private Views / Public Images. A catalogue has been published by Café-Crème editions.

Second Lives : Jeux masqués et autres Je
Curators: Paul Di Felice, Kevin Muhlen, Pierre Stiwer.
Exhibition: On view now through September 2011.

The exhibition is taking place within the framework of European Month of Photography. Realised in collaboration with Lucil Film.

Artists: Susan Anderson, Art Orienté objet, Christopher Baker, Hermine Bourgadier, Slater Bradley, Lucille Calmel & Philippe Boisnard, Hsia-Fei Chang, Danica Dakić, Hans Eijkelboom, Joan Fontcuberta, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Anna Hilti, Kaori Kinoshita & Alain Della Negra, Joachim Koester, Beryl Koltz, Susi Krautgartner, Annika Larsson, Andrés Lejona, Lucy McRae & Bart Hess, Cristina Nuñez, Jens Pecho, Dorothée Smith, Catrine Val, Yuan Yanwu.

Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain
41, rue Notre-Dame
(B.P. 345)
L – 2013 Luxembourg

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