Past Exhibitions

In Character: Artists’ Role Play in Photography and Video

April 14 – July 31, 2012

This exhibition presents contemporary work in which the artist “performs” a role or “plays” a character. Referencing pop culture, art, and history, and appropriating such mainstream visual traditions as studio portraiture, the photo album, and TV and video, these artists use masquerade and performance to explore themes of individual and cultural identity as well as issues regarding gender and racial stereotyping. Featured artists include Kalup Linzy, Yasumasa Morimura, Laurel Nakadate, Tomoko Sawada, Lorna Simpson, and Gillian Wearing. To underscore Cindy Sherman’s important influence on the practice of artists serving as performers in their own work, examples from her early projects are also included.

In concert with Making a Presence: F. Holland Day in Artistic Photography, an exhibition that similarly examines the artistic use of props and costume, In Character provides an invaluable context in which to examine the rich tradition of theatrical masquerade and self-portraiture in photography.

In Character is presented in collaboration with Harvard Art Museums and has been generously supported by the Mollie Bennett Lupe and Garland M. Lasater Exhibitions Fund and the Winton Family Exhibition Fund.