VAA Curatorial Practice
Performing For You, For Me, For You
January 6 – January 27, 2024Project Space
simone madison hunter
The Visual Arts Administration program presents the exhibition Performing For You, For Me, For You. Curated by the Curatorial Practice course, the exhibition will be accompanied by public programming that invites the audience to interact with and learn about the participating artists, as well as an exhibition essay.
Presenting artworks by three NYU Steinhardt Studio Art students – simone madison hunter, Emily Mogami, and Mahira Naznin – the exhibition delves into the struggle between how today’s youth perceive themselves and how they present themselves to the world, an outgrowth of complex interplay between self-perception and external gaze. Subverting race and gender expectations take center stage offering a profound analysis of societal norms and the artists' determined efforts to challenge and transcend them.
In the 21st century, new screen-based technologies and corporate-owned social media make us all be observed, constantly look into mirrors, and create our avatars. At the same time, the pressures of living in global, increasingly multi-ethnic and xenophobic societies, compel us to brand ourselves by our gender, our sexuality, our heritage, and countless other descriptors. The societal gaze puts us in a state of perpetual performance and self-reflection, putting our ever-changing selves at risk of being solidified and fixed into a passive state, defined and constrained by our gender and ethnic identities.
Each artist featured in this exhibition provides a poignant lens through which we are asked to question our perceptions of identity and subvert the societal gaze that seeks to define us. Crucially, in the same vein as Jean-Paul Sartre, they seem to suggest that the very act of being defined has a potential of propelling us beyond that definition. In this paradox, there is both captivity and freedom. Today’s youth struggle to remain authentic and reconcile with our identities, in the very act of rebelling against those labels, we transcend them.
Performing For You, For Me, For You was conceptualized and curated jointly by Curatorial Practice course of the Visual Arts Administration MA under the supervision of instructor Monika Fabijanska. Essay: Elif Usuloğlu, Phoebe Wang; Public Programs: Cindy Hou, Eli King; Logistics: Davina Bisaria, Shuying Fang; PR and Marketing: Tatiana Tamargo Arizmendi, Xinyuan Qiu.
The exhibition is curated, produced, and managed by NYU Steinhardt Visual Arts Administration MA students enrolled in the Curatorial Practice course, which provides hands-on experience in the development, curation, installation, and operation of exhibitions, programs, and events.
Photos by Carter Seddon.