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Is it Me or is it You

Is-It-You-Or-Is-It-Me: The-Viewer-Being-Viewed-Viewing postulates that portraiture is an act of translation that extends beyond the artist or the subject. Calling for works in all medias, we further hope to complicate the ambiguous nature of colliding subjectivities and pursue any means possible to reinvigorate the meaning of the role of the viewer. Hopefully, by embracing what can be termed the criticality of ambiguity, an embodiment of a new aesthetic will ensue: one that bypasses the well-worn viewer/viewed relationship. That is, one that acknowledges the triad of artistic production instead of insisting on a synthesis of the artist-as-viewer dichotomy. We are not spectators viewing through the eyes of the artist. Instead, as participants we view the artist as they portray themselves through the representation of the other’s image or perhaps the metaphor of the other.

 The phrase, “is-it-you-or-is-it-me” often implies a kind of pejorative interpretation of reality or a kind of misunderstanding. By embracing this we are attempting to free ourselves from the false security of answers. Ultimately it is an acknowledgement of the synthetic nature of portraying others or portraying the experience of others. Is it possible to penetrate through the more transparent layers of identity? Is real portrayal of someone or something else possible, or, is it that the artist cannot really distance him or her self from his or her own reflection?

We contend that by breaking down the separation of the binary of self/other a new aesthetic awareness is possible. This aesthetic awareness celebrates the vision, inspiration, passion, grief, confusion, joy and excitement whenever a relational encounter occurs.