XL: 19 New Acquisitions in Photography is an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art
MoMA that features photographic works by nineteen artists. According to the exhibition description, topics covered and explored by the artists range from postwar experiments with darkroom processes to 1970s feminist performances to documentary and commentary on labor history as well as the social context.
Many pieces showcased at the exhibition caught my attention. In particular were pieces by Stan Douglas (“Two Friends” 1975) and Oscar Munoz (“The Game of Probabilities” 2007).
Douglas’s work reconstructed a moment in the burgeoning New York underground disco scene of the early 1970s through the use of actors. In the staged setting portraying a male and female couple (who are apparently just friends) sitting rather stiff and detached at a social club setting, the photograph is suggestive of human discomfort and tension underneath the veneer of glamour and glitz.
Munoz’s work is fittingly applicable to our current class project for which we are transforming and thereby redesigning our self-portraits taken from generic black and white photo booths. Munoz examines the genre of self-portraiture by fragmenting and rearranging six photos of himself into twelve different configurations. His position on one’s identity possessing infinite possible mutations and reconfigurations is an idea that highly resonates with what my increased awareness that one’s self-identity is in fact multi-faceted and comes in many stages and forms.
The exhibition is organized by Roxana Marcoci, Curator; with Katerina Stathopoulou, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Photography.