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April Issue 2006
McColl Center for Visual Art, in Charlotte, NC, Offers Exhibition Which Confronts Clichés
Stereotypes: Confronting Clichés will be on view through May 20, 2006, at McColl Center for Visual Art, in uptown Charlotte, NC. Curated by June Lambla, the exhibition features more than twenty-five contemporary works by nine internationally and nationally known artists. The art in this exhibition addresses issues of race, political and religious affiliation, ethnicity, gender, beauty, and societal roles.
When used intentionally,
the subject of stereotypes in art can create both a feeling of
familiarity and tension. Stereotypes: Confronting Clichés
features work by artists who are not afraid to address social
stereotypes. Curator Lambla elaborates on the dilemma stereotypes
pose, adding, "One definition of stereotype is 'commonness,'
but, sadly stereotypes are seldom used to find common ground.
Instead, it is used to stigmatize, serving the interest of one
group at the expense of another." This show posits, however,
that art can help prevent or draw attention to this phenomenon.
"Investigating stereotypes in the arts," says Lambla,
"can increase self-awareness and can stimulate tolerance
and awareness in the viewer."
The artists in this exhibit work in media ranging from photography to painting to video installation. They hail from across the world, including the United States, Iran and Kuwait.
Two artists influenced
by Japanese culture are featured in Stereotypes. Roger
Shimomura is a Japanese-American who was born in Seattle, WA.
His works compare contemporary America with traditional Japan,
referencing personal history, art history, pop culture and current
events. Iona Rozeal Brown produces paintings that challenge stereotypical
views of African Americans and Japanese Americans via imagery
associated with traditional Japanese art and Hip Hop culture.
Also taking up issues of race, internationally renowned conceptual artist Lorna Simpson creates photo-based works that address growing up black in America. More specifically, Simpson's imagery often relates to gender, social roles and beauty.
Trained as a painter in Munich and influenced by old masters such as seventeenth-century, Spanish artist Vel·squez, Loretta Lux constructs digitally manipulated photographs of children that challenge accepted ideas about both high art and presumed innocence of children. According to Lambla, the "eerie portraits of children make us question both our stereotypes of childhood and of portraiture."
Tarek Al-Ghoussein addresses the visualization of his Palestinian heritage in a series of self portraits. According to Al-Ghoussein, the images in his self portrait series are a "commentary on contemporary Western media's representations of the Palestinian as terrorist."
Iranian-born, New Yorker
Shirin Neshat has used Islam as her inspiration for years. Neshat
strives to lift the veil on the middle-Eastern ideologies that
often arouse a mix of interest, anger and fear in the West.
Anne Kesler Shields, who lives and works in North Carolina, is inspired by the events of 9/11, including New York City's signature skyline and the resulting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
was curated exclusively for McColl Center for Visual Art by Guest
Curator June Lambla and is sponsored, in part, by SPX Corporation.
The Center's goal is to advance creativity through artist residencies, exhibitions and other educational programs about contemporary art. McColl Center for Visual Art is supported by the Annual Fund Drive of the Arts & Science Council; the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency; the National Endowment for the Arts and the generosity of other public, private and individual contributors.
For more info check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Center at 704/332-5535, e-mail at (email@example.com) or at (www.mccollcenter.org).
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