This exhibition of photographs with ink and colored pencil overlays is a continuation of Smith's dissection series, first begun in 2011 and earning her a 2nd prize in Viridian's Annual Juried Exhibit curated by Jennifer Blessing of the Guggenheim Museum. Since that time, the artist has continued examining through her photography, drawing & writing, what comprises our identity in this moment in time. Her recent writing has focused around the body as a physical structure and process, and along with photographic self- portraits, the artist asks important questions, exploring both the physicality & the passing of time & how that is reflected on one's identity.
The image of the female has always been fraught with the idealizing of the physical and as a female artist, Smith wants to explore through her imagery the conflicts of identity conjured by that idealization. Too, the artist is exploring and perhaps exposing self-portraiture and its potential pathology- the lies and the truths that are subsequently revealed. Physicality, politics, identity, framing are all aspects of confrontation which affect what the viewer sees, yet what is the reality of who we are? How does the physical self compare tothe various presentations of self that are possible?
In Eric Kandel's "Age of Insight" research by Stephen Kuffler, Hubel, Wiesel and Zeki show how retina ganglion cells each see a different aspect of reality that our brain then puts together into one image. A compiling of fragments to make the whole, as in Angela Christine Smith's art of "Dissections". The viewer is invited to look beyond the surface of her images and more deeply into their meaning. She states that "The body in front of the camera breathes into the lens and in an extended interaction with "I" multiplies to make a physical dent into the film. This extension of time explores the pauses located within the physical body."
Smith asks many questions with these works, specifically, "Is the self-portrait an extension of the mirror? What about the inside of the body, itself? What is it to become a part of the photography and reject it at the same time?" She responds "through framing, cutting, and dissecting the photographs ... to confront questions of identity, the politics of the body, and show how the photograph is displacing the body and providing a corporeal experience for the viewer." But as Smith dissects herself, she reveals us all.
Angela Christine Smith has an MFA in Integrated & Expanded Photographic Practices, Contemporary Art Theory, and Printmaking from Ohio University and a BFA in Photography, Printmaking, and Art History from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. She has won numerous awards for her photographic work.