GLYPHS: ACTS OF INSCRIPTION builds on the premise that identities are constituted through acts of inscription—real or imagined—into the visual archives that constitute history, popular iconographies and artistic canons. GLYPHS probes the consequences of such acts on the poetic and political dimensions of representation, difference and visibility.
Working in photography, moving image and mixed media, the artists cannibalize and query such archives to create new image repertoires that point to the lacunae—the silences, absences, and erasures—contained within prevalent visual-historical renderings. These critical interventions challenge existing discourses, destabilizing the deeply ambiguous and often surreal taxonomies of “raced,” sexed and gendered representation.
Marking the 50th anniversary of the death of W.E.B. Du Bois, GLYPHS presents a slideshow projection of The Paris Albums 1900, a series of portraits originally commissioned by the renowned African American sociologist, activist and scholar’s groundbreaking American Negro Exhibit for the 1900 Paris World Exposition. Du Bois’ quintessential counter-archive is positioned in dialogue with those created by the contemporary artists in GLYPHS. The Paris Albums 1900 is presented in association with Autograph ABP, London.
The exhibition program is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Pitzer College Art Galleries, the Pasadena Art Alliance, the Pitzer College Forum Fund, the Murray Pepper & Vicki Reynolds Pepper Distinguished Visiting Artist & Scholar Lecture Series Endowed Fund and the Endowed Fund for Media Studies