Union Gallery

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off-site projects


Curated by Madeleine Leisk

On view from April 14-28, 2016
Located at Kingston Frameworks (198 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1B2)

The project Self-y? explores how we represent ourselves for personal versus public consumption, engaging with the rise of “selfie” culture to consider the why and how people represent themselves in particular ways. Through an open call for submissions, members of the Queen’s and Kingston communities have contributed digital copies of their own “selfie portraits,” loosely defined as images that are representative of the contributor’s personal understanding of identity.

The selected images in the project reflect on the constructed nature of identities and the ways in which they are diverse and multiple. Utilizing a range of materials, media and conceptual approaches, a multiplicity of ways we construct identify are revealed. Facial expressions, clothing, accessories, personal objects, and carefully staged poses with other people or specific environments come together in this project, encouraging viewers to examine the unique ways in which individual’s re-present themselves.

Madeleine Leisk is a fourth-year student at Queen’s University majoring in art history and minoring in languages. Her work explores questions of personal versus public identity and the tradition of self-representation from Renaissance portraiture to contemporary photography. She is currently exploring the concept of self-fashioning false identities in visual culture. Her most recent work on self-representation includes archiving and researching the Magda Creet Collection of personal and professional photography portraits at the Queen’s Archives (2015) and assisting in the production of the exhibition Singular Figures: Portraits and Character Studies in Northern Baroque Painting at the Agnes (2016). She will be continuing her studies of identity in visual and material culture at the University of Toronto in Fall 2016 within their graduate art history program.

Featuring contributions by: June Barrage, Eugene Cornacchia, Rebecca Cowan, Habiba Esaad, Christopher Grant, Austin Henderson, Dominique Holmes, Ramolen Laruan, Ashley Newton, Leigha Stiles, Trevor Turner, Jess Wheelock, and Ally Zmijowskyj.