Addressing Questions of Identity in the University Art Collections

by Susan Hoffa

Step into the trappings of another's identity and you may reveal a great deal about yourself. One way to challenge the concept of identity and preconceived cultural construct is to speak with the visual vocabulary of another. This kind of crossover gesture, spoken in the vernacular of inclusion and exclusion, is particularly well-represented in the University's art collections.

Works by Kara Walker, Gayle Johnson, and Yasumasa Morimura illustrate the value of taking on roles. Through seemingly familiar images these artists are able to explore the stereotypes, issues, and emotions which define us as a whole in society. And like the popular children's game, they ask you to discover "what's wrong with this picture."

Excerpt from Speaking In Tounges, by Susan Hoffa