Mythologies of Identity – Art by Jean-René Leblanc.
Through fashion props and styling, the artists of Mythologies of Identity showcase personas that challenge heteronormative definitions of gender in photography. The project bridges the gap between masculine and feminine through various simulations. First, Sherman’s career-long identity performances through self-portraiture; then emerging trans artist Dane-Adrian Smith and their Post-Gender World; finally, a Virtual Reality project on contemporary cowboy culture in the Canadian Midwest by Jean-René Leblanc. Following a long history of exploratory art practice at CEPA, the exhibition illustrates how visuals play a role in personal agency and empowerment in gender expression.
From the artist, Jean-René Leblanc:
“Real Life Cowboy is the only app that lets you view objects submitted by real cowboys in augmented reality. Learn about significant cowboy-related objects while viewing and listening to them in your own environment. You can even interact with the objects by moving them in space.
We all know the most famous cowboys, cowgirls, bounty hunters, and outlaws in popular culture. The Lone Ranger, the Man with No Name, Annie Oakley, and Buffalo Bill are just a few iconic figures of the wild west.
You’ve probably seen a classic western showdown or standoff on the screen. As a kid, you may have played games of Cowboys and Indians. Perhaps you’ve eaten at a saloon modeled after the ones in the Old West.
But there’s more to the cowboy lifestyle than what’s shown in movies, TV shows, and games. In fact, cowboy culture is more often misrepresented in the media than portrayed accurately. In everyday life, cowboys usually aren’t represented at all, so people don’t know what genuine cowboy culture looks like.
Real Life Cowboy aims to fix that and educate the world about cowboys, the objects that are important to them, and the culture they created.”
Mythologies of Identity will be on view at CEPA from February 3 to April 22, 2023. Please join us for the opening reception on February 3, 2023 from 5-8 PM located at 617 Main St Buffalo, NY 14203.
Curated by Véronique Côté.