Nashville, Tennessee
Contemporary Art Gallery

237 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 37219
Tuesday–Saturday 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.







Tinney Contemporary  is proud to present Clear Mirror, the latest installment at the Collection at Bobby Hotel. The exhibition features artists who engage in some variety of alternative portraiture. The emphasis here is not on objectivity or realism, but instead on the shifting nature of subjecthood and representation.

Clear Mirror draws reference to a surface both transparent and reflective: a barrier which obstructs, but allows the viewer’s gaze to pass through while simultaneously producing a mutated reflection of the self. In the age of selfies, surveillance, facial recognition, and deepfakes, portraiture as an artistic practice has been turned on its head.  As subjects, individuals are offered supposedly infinite control over how they are represented, with tools like photoshop and facetune. At the same time, corporations and state entities constantly capture and repurpose our likenesses for obscure ends. 

A newfound level of anxiety around self-image has propagated on this shifting ground. Indicative of a larger movement within portraiture, the works in the exhibition evade the various apparatuses which mediate identity and exert control over the ways we see ourselves and others. Some works express a dysmorphic alienation; others might be viewed as an attempt to wrest back the reins of representation. Through the distortion, a moment of recognition: if our differences are to be used as a means of control, here we become abstract—not formless, but spectral.

Through a glass, darkly; through the clear mirror, I see you through me.

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