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ID: Sculptors' Exhibition Features Nontraditional Explorations of Personal Identity

Release date: November 08, 2007

ID, a sculpture exhibition featuring nontraditional explorations of personal identity, will be presented in Goucher College’s Rosenberg Gallery from Thursday, November 8, through Friday, December, 14.

This exhibit, which is free and open to the public, can be viewed weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and during scheduled events in Kraushaar Auditorium. An artists’ reception will be held Thursday, November 8, at 6 p.m. in the Rosenberg Gallery. Call 410-337-6333 for more information.

The artists — Anthony Cervino, Jason Ferguson, Ronald Gonzalez, Melissa Ichiuji, and Rob Neilson — will present unconventional self-portraits that reveal the formidable obstacles to self-understanding, from crass idolatry of modern commerce to the vagaries of one’s own unconscious mind. 

At first glance, Anthony Cervino’s repetitive use of mass-produced toys and other products in his sculptures would seem to discount the idea that each individual is unique. As slight flaws and discrepancies in the objects appear to a scrutinizing eye, however, the artwork provides a broader analogy for the human experience: an identity defined by both helpless similarity to and inevitable difference from others.

Jason Ferguson’s self-portrait sculptures evoke an absent self by indicating the artifacts of daily life. Juxtaposed remnants such as handheld tools, a tool caddy, and a sawhorse, for instance, suggest an identity defined by the repetitive tasks of a lifetime of manual labor.

Ronald Gonzalez’s sculptures are part of an ongoing series that place single and grouped selves into tragic circumstances. Gonzalez uses a representation of his own body to present loss and trauma as both formative and destructive elements of one’s identity.

Melissa Ichiuji’s works convey the illusory notion of an immutable, definable self. In her Forgotten Girl, self-image is subjected to the ravages of time as a roughly sewn, soft-sculptural human form stares into the mirror at a veined, bruised, older version of itself.

Rob Neilson takes yet another tack, merging a cast of his own face with pop-cultural iconic objects such as a yellow “smiley” button and a bust of John F. Kennedy. Superimposing his likeness on such recognizable forms offers a clever commentary on the struggle to cultivate an identity in today’s consumerist, image-oriented society.

In ID, five sculptors have created new and unique modes of identifying the modern problem of identity. The resulting art objects serve as symbols for the existential dread, the heroic effort, and the infinite variety of our ongoing process of self-definition.