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Who Am I?
Ben Sloat, Millee Tibbs, Lauren Cross, Stephanie Fetter
September 23 - November 13, 2010
Hours: Saturday, September 25, 12 - 5 pm
We're also available by appointment.
Summer's over and we are pleased to open Drive-By's fall 2010 season with, Who Am I?, an exhibition of drawings by Lauren Cross, photographs by Stephanie Fetter and Millee Tibbs, and a window installation by Ben Sloat.
Drive-By's storefront windows are the perfect venue for Ben Sloat's Pencil of Nature. Responding to William Fox Talbot's 19th century periodical of the same name, Sloat continues his exploration of personal identity with an interactive installation that invites the viewer to experience an enhanced live visual. Sloat's modified camera obscura isolates an image of Drive-By's tree-lined neighborhood as it would be viewed by a passerby, highlighting Fox Talbot's belief that the camera could serve as a vehicle for capturing each person's unique vision.
Millee Tibbs's ongoing project, Do you look like me? investigates the relationship between visual resemblance and identity. Using a Polaroid passport camera, Tibbs creates a photographic archive of subjects who are her visual doppelgangers, and presents each image side-by-side with a similarly staged portrait of herself. Though her frontal poses and direct lighting are reminiscent of passport photos and other institutional ID photos, Tibbs's seemingly straightforward, "you and me" photographs evoke a range of subjective emotions and associations centering around the viewer's own sense of identity.
Plain, brown paper bags provide the backdrop for Lauren Cross's evocative, portraits of iconic African American women. Wearing an outfit ranging from from ball gown to leisure suit, each woman seems to have selected her outfit and pose to inform the viewer of who she is and where she fits in. Though these drawings seem colorful and upbeat, subtle cues seen in a facial expression or gesture suggest that Cross's subjects may not be as secure as they appear in the roles that their race, class, and gender have assigned.
Stephanie Fetter, an emerging artist and graduate student at RISD, photographs herself in an array of manufactured guises. Her black and white headshots, shot against a neutral backdrop, suggest ubiquitous, photo-booth pictures. Yet, Fetter's use of props and found objects adds a theatrical, and often humorous touch to these ingenuous self-portraits. As the artist dons different headgear (net vegetable bags, potting soil, leaves) she seems to be exploring her multiple personae.
Located at 81 Spring Street in Watertown, MA, Drive-By is a small, innovative space committed to exhibiting provocative work in its storefront windows and small exhibition space. Founded by Beth Kantrowitz (Allston Skirt Gallery) and Kathleen O'Hara (OHT Gallery) Drive-By is open for special events and by appointment, though you can always drive by to view the current exhibition.