By Laura Pérez Gavilán-Lewis
The Merchant of Venice written in the late 1500’s is Shakespeare’s comedy centered on love, money, prejudice and social injustice. It exposes boldly, and troubling for modern audiences, situations of racial and religious intolerances and attitudes towards our differences that are still with us today.
Identifying ourselves through ethnicity, religion or gender has been the status quo, but the world is changing and we are realizing that our identity is much more than that. Much more than a checkbox on an immigration form or how people see us simply by our surface.
The timing for this exhibition couldn’t be more appropriate as a call to adopt another attitude towards all of our differences. The essence of Post-Identity requires fluidity between the categorical norms society uses and an open-mindedness. Using empathy to see each other without judgement or expectation is the new norm of our aesthetic standard.
In Exposed: The Female Lens in a Post Identity Era? we bring together the art of six brave female artists that challenge us to view the world with understanding and respect through their unconventional lens. Their photographs and video imagery are an invitation into their very personal concerns and the deconstruction of old standards. Each artist approaches their subject in a gutsy way that calls us into action, opens our mind to reflection, and invites us to reexamine how we perceive the world in general.
Our hope in presenting these visual conversations is that you will assimilate each artist’s message on identity and discover something both unique yet shared.
Laura Pérez Gavilán-Lewis is an educator at the J. Paul Getty Museum, a visual artist and curator living in the Thousand Oaks area. She volunteers her time to non-profit organizations in the Los Angeles setting up art and photography exhibitions and fundraising events.