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Josh Kline, RAID Drives, 2015–16, plaster, ink-jet ink, cyanoacrylate, handcuffs, commercial shelving, LED lights, 37 × 27 1/2 × 15". From “The Politics of Portraiture.”

“The Politics of Portraiture”

Jessica Silverman Gallery

Josh Kline, RAID Drives, 2015–16, plaster, ink-jet ink, cyanoacrylate, handcuffs, commercial shelving, LED lights, 37 × 27 1/2 × 15". From “The Politics of Portraiture.”

The six-person show “The Politics of Portraiture” suggested that portraiture, as both a tradition and a practice, now lies in fragments. The works on display were linked by tropes of shattering, reconstruction, and hybridization. The sawed and stacked zebra jawbone of Matthew Angelo Harrison’s Bodily Study of Unthinking Groups, 2016, echoed the set of teeth roughly molded in plaster and wax and embedded in an open lunch box in Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Lunch Box, 1966. Disembodied, floating forearms appeared as fantasmatic in the work of Cécile B. Evans and uncannily real in the work of Josh Kline. Prominent throughout the show were the fragments that define us for the public—our genes, psychological symptoms, identification cards, and books.

If portraiture remains a bellwether of our conceptions of identity, this show asked what the genre can tell us when biological, social,

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