Pregnancy is one of the most extreme states of the human condition, according to art theorist Amelia Jones, as it reveals the ‘tension between self as subject and self as object’. The final display from the ISelf Collection takes its title from Paloma Varga Weisz’s (b. 1966, Germany) ambiguously gendered pregnant figure, Bumped Body (2007), reflecting on shifting concepts of selfhood.
23 artists consider subjectivity in relation to the body, the object and the environment. Many works offer fragmented and visceral perspectives where the human meets the inanimate, such as Mark Manders (b.1968, Netherlands) enigmatic figures sandwiched between a bedstead or wooden slats. Rebecca Warren’s (b.1965, UK) striding high-heeled legs fuse high Modernism with the lowly comic book in an expression of pure eros.
Placing figures in states of metamorphoses, artists rupture our sense of physical cohesion to reveal new possibilities that lie beyond selfhood.
Also featuring: Maria Bartuszovà, Huma Bhabha, Alexandra Bircken, Tian Doan na Champassak, Ruth Claxton, Tony Cragg, Enrico David, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Geoffrey Farmer, Georg Herold, Kati Horna, Sarah Lucas, Seb Patane, Pippilotti Rist, Bojan Šarčević, Wael Shawky, Daniel Silver, John Stezaker, Nicola Tyson, Cathy Wilkes.
Thu 10 May 2018, 6pm
Explore the exhibition with an introduction and personal response by Dafydd Jones in British Sign Language.
Thu 21 Jun, 6.30pm
Free, booking required
A tour of the exhibition led by Whitechapel Gallery Assistant Curator Candy Stobbs.
Thu 19 Jul, 7pm
££9.50/ £7.50 concs
A panel discussion with artists Alice Channer, Linder, Prem Sahib and Daniel Silver. Chaired by Whitechapel Gallery Director, Iwona Blazwick.
May – Jun 2018
Join artist Jake Garfield to look at artworks in the ISelf Collection and to think about identity.
27 April – 20 August 2017
Self-Portrait as the Billy Goat
Twenty-five works from international artists reveal how these artists stage their own bodies or self-reflections to examine the different ways that we build our sense of personal identity.
30 August – 26 November 2017
The End of Love
Contemporary portraiture – both real and imagined – and the relationship between self and other, or between artist, sitter and viewer, is explored by nearly 30 international artists in this display.
5 December 2017 – 1 April 2018
The Upset Bucket
This display of works by 28 major artists examines how we project our identity through our appearances and consumer choices, ultimately shaping our sense of self in relation to society.
Read the press release