In the new all-media show at Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibition space for the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 17 artists explore their personal selfhood. Ipseity, defined as individual identity, features artwork that touches on themes of gender, religion, ethnicity, sexuality and other labels people use to identify themselves. Jessica Kallista, founder of Olly Olly alternative art space in Fairfax, Virginia, juried the exhibition.
When originally conceiving the exhibition, Leslie Mounaime, director of Target Gallery, was inspired by the L.P. Smith quote, “Those heavenly moments… when a sense of the divine ipseity invades me.” “The zeitgeist of today has a strong thread focused on selfhood,” said Mounaime. “From lighthearted selfies on social media to more weighted conversations around topics like faith, ethnicity and gender, societal narratives about who we are as individuals and as a people are being reflected in contemporary art.”
“From many of these works, I am reminded that identity exists even at the cellular level,” said Kallista. “We may attempt to cover our true ipseity, deny it, or show it to the world in fluid fragments. We may attempt to retreat into or to exert ourselves through passion, humor, or excess. Yet, when we allow ourselves to be cut to the core and become hollow and afraid, if we can choose to rest in hope, we can remain defiant and even resilient. The story I hope for this exhibition to tell is a story of redemptive bliss.”
The participating artists, half of whom are based in Virginia, touch on subjects of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religion and other labels people use to identify themselves. The exhibition includes 19 works in a variety of media, including photography, mixed-media, sculpture, and video.