For additional information, artist interviews, or images, please contact CPW at firstname.lastname@example.org | (845) 679-9957
Artists: Roger Ballen, Janette Beckman, Elinor Carucci, Annabel Clark, Jodi Cobb, Kelli Connell, Eileen Cowin, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Rineke Dijkstra, Mike Disfarmer, Louis Faurer, Lynn Geesaman, Charles Harshberger, Cornelia Hediger, Colleen Kenyon, Kathleen Kenyon, Mary Ellen Mark, Sarah Moon, Christa Parravani, Martin Schoeller, Ruud van Empel, Hiroshi Watanabe, Carrie Will, and works by unknown photographers from the late 19th and early 20th Century.
On view: July 14 - September 9, 2012
On view from July 14 – September 9, the exhibition marks the start of an ongoing series of offerings that celebrate CPW’s 35th anniversary. Doubles, Dualities, and Doppelgängers also pays homage to the tenure of former CPW Directors (1981-2003) and twin sisters Colleen and Kathleen Kenyon.
From summer 2012 through summer 2013, CPW will present a number of commemorative offerings including exhibitions, panels, workshops, screenings, and collaborative initiatives that will culminate in a photography festival in August 2013. The year-long celebration will recognize 35 remarkable years of championing photography, emerging photographers, and engaging audiences through the prism of the medium.
The exhibition Doubles, Dualities, and Doppelgängers reflects CPW’s ongoing tradition of exploring an intriguing subject, in this case, a topic that continues to fascinate photographers and resonate within the public’s consciousness.
Identical twins connote both physical and psychological duality and balance, but have also been regarded as curiosities or freaks of nature. The phenomenon of exact doubles existing in nature has long been researched by scientists as an opportunity to begin untangling questions about heredity and environmental factors in determining the people we become. The concept of “nature versus nurture” seems embodied in twinship: How can identical twins with virtually identical DNA be so different in personality or temperament? Conversely, how can identical twins who have been separated by birth still have so much in common?
The camera has often been seen as a mirror to the outside world, creating a more-or-less exact copy of reality and since the advent of the medium, there has been a photographic fascination with twins. The unnerving repetition of an individual presence within the frame evinces photography’s voyeuristic nature. A number of the works in this exhibition possess a certain assumption that the intended audience shares the photographer’s desire to stare and compare.
Conversely, that impulse has also been subverted and consciously implemented to mine a deeper understanding of the human psyche. Utilizing the visual spectacle of the double, photographers have appropriated the concept of a twin to create a paradigm ripe with metaphorical possibilities.
Thus the exhibition takes three approaches:
“People Photographing Twins” focuses on photographs of twins, and offers a survey of the theme in both historical and contemporary practice as well as through a variety of photographic genres. Included in this section are works by several unknown photographers, Roger Ballen, Janette Beckman, Elinor Carucci, Annabel Clark, Jodi Cobb, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Rineke Dijkstra, Mike Disfarmer, Louis Faurer, Charles Harshberger, Mary Ellen Mark, Martin Schoeller, and Hiroshi Watanabe.
“Twinning: Dualities as Metaphor” presents works in which the concept of “twinning” is used for the purpose of metaphysical and psychological explorations. Featured here are works by several unknown photographers, Kelli Connell, Cornelia Hediger, Sarah Moon, and Ruud van Empel.
Though not featured in this exhibition, Diane Arbus’ infamous photograph Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967 (which many indirectly encountered through its reference in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film The Shining) serves in many ways as the exhibition’s emblematic icon.Her biographer, Patricia Bosworth, wrote that “she was involved in the question of identity. Who am I and who are you? The twin image expresses the crux of that vision: normality in freakishness and freakishness in normality”.
The photographers’ motives for creating their respective images span a wildly diverse range of approaches. Some of the artists approach the subject through the perspective of anthropologists, social documentarians, photojournalists, poets, and scientists, while others are motivated by their personal connections as parents or siblings. Collectively the works featured in the exhibition Doubles, Dualities, and Doppelgängers proffers questions of identity, individuality, and the (in)appropriate nature of the gaze found within photographs of twins – a most enduring subject for photographers.
CPW invites groups and individuals to schedule tours and gallery talks of the exhibition and facility.
This exhibition and its related programs have been made possible in part with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, with support from Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.