We consciously and unconsciously categorize identity based on the human face. It is, for most people, their social thumbprint and emotional signpost. Inevitably the face is the ‘I’ in first person statements.
As we stated four years ago when we last approached this theme, technology exacerbates people’s retreat into the upper limb of their body, encouraging portraiture on a mass scale in the form of social networks such as Facebook and Instagram with their flood of ‘selfies’. Facial recognition tools which help sort photos of friends and family based on images of their face, and video conference calling also put the focus on the front of the human head. The center of our humanity has coalesced into the mind, behind the face. When we think of each other, we (usually) start with the face first.
Manifest’s seven-member jury reviewed 613 works by 215 artists from 41 states, Washington D.C., and 7 countries. Thirty-seven works by the following 31 artists from 17 states and 2 countries were selected for exhibition and will also be featured in the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication (MEA) at the close of the season.