new-york

Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Chelsea E. Manning, Probably Chelsea, 2017, thirty 3-D printed masks, dimensions variable. Photo: Paola Abreu Pita.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Chelsea E. Manning

Fridman Gallery

Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Chelsea E. Manning, Probably Chelsea, 2017, thirty 3-D printed masks, dimensions variable. Photo: Paola Abreu Pita.

It’s difficult to gauge the merits of “A Becoming Resemblance” with anything resembling critical objectivity. The incendiary politics surrounding Dewey-Hagborg’s collaborator and muse, the US military intelligence officer turned hacktivist Chelsea E. Manning, and the controversial nature of the show’s subject matter (the diagnostically and morally murky territory of DNA-based profiling) overshadowed one’s reading of the project from the outset. This was not a conventional collaboration—not least because half of the partnership remained incarcerated, periodically in solitary confinement and with highly monitored communication, for the majority of the project’s duration.

The unlikely collaboration between Manning and artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg was set in motion by Paper magazine in 2015, while Manning was serving time at a military correctional facility in Fort Leavenworth,

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