press release

Although sensational, the title of this exhibition actually refers to the photography of the family– who we are at home and how we are bound into our unique unit. Sixteen contemporary artists from North America, Europe and Asia portray members of their own families and offer a multi-layered representation of the family as a dynamic social institution. The art works shed light on the formation of each individual’s physical, cultural, and sexual identity, on the nucleus that has shaped and influenced each artist, and on the values and traits that they have passed along to their own families. The most familiar artifact or scrapbook item – the family photograph – becomes an illuminating investigation of contemporary culture.

Inspired by documentary and staged photography, conceptual art and performance art, these artists portray the charged relationships between the people taking the pictures and those portrayed. The mechanisms of photography and video are penetrating and the photograph becomes an indirect form of self-portraiture of the artist himself.

iCiShoot the Family is made possible at the Western Gallery through the Homer Bernard Mathes Endowment Fund. The exhibition was organized by Independent Curators International (iCI), New York, and curated by Ralph Rugoff. The exhibition, tour and publication are made possible, in part, by a grant from The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, with additional support from the iCI Exhibition Partners and the iCI independents.


Shoot the Family

mit Yasser Aggour, Darren Almond, Janine Antoni, Richard Billingham, Miguel Calderon, Mitch Epstein, Hai Bo, Lyle Ashton Harris, Ari Marcopoulos, Malerie Marder, Jonathan Monk, Annee Olofsson, Adrian Paci, Chris Verene, Gillian Wearing, Zhang Huan