press release

The art collection of Heather and Tony Podesta is internationally regarded for its audacity and ambitious scope. Called "Power Collectors" by The Washington Post, their zeal for collecting contemporary photography and video is unrivaled in the American mid-Atlantic area. The Podestas also develop friendships with many of the artists they collect because they enjoy following an artist's career and collecting in depth. "With self-portraits, it can be hard to separate the work from the artist, especially if you know the artist," comments Heather Podesta in preparing for the show. Tony Podesta responds, "Almost in every case, we bought first and met second."

The exhibition is curated by Heather and Tony Podesta with assistance from Curator's Office director, Andrea Pollan, and Podesta collections manager, Gabriela Mizes. The exhibition on view in the micro-gallery of Curator's Office concentrates on a particular focus within the Podesta collection: the artist's self-portrait.

Since the seminal work of such artists as Cindy Sherman and Gilbert and George in the 1970s, artists have increasingly adopted a performative role within their photographic works. Frequently referred to as photo-based or lens-based work, this area of contemporary practice has been investigated by a growing number of artists including a new generation that emerged in the nineties. Artists such as Marina Abramovic, Ann Hamilton, Sam Taylor-Wood and Gillian Wearing deploy a variety of theatrical strategies, many of which are influenced by post-structuralist issues of identity, social roles and metaphoric transformation. Whether video stills, documents of performances, digitized alternate realities, or meticulously staged tableaux indebted to painting, each artist in Me, Myself and I expands upon the traditional concept of "self portrait" and the possibilities for photography's content and formal treatment.

In cooperation with the graduate art and art history departments of George Washington University, Curator's Office is producing an illustrated and educational hand-out about the works on view. It is being researched and written by students Mandy Burrow, Larissa Raddell, Cicie Sattarnilasskorn, Will Scott, Amanda Shoemaker, Jennifer Tafe, and Brian Twilley.


Me, Myself & I: Artist Self-Portraits from the Collection of Heather & Tony Podesta
Kuratoren: Heather & Tony Podesta, Andrea Pollan, Gabriela Mizes

mit Marina Abramovic, Tania Antoshina, Kathryn Cornelius, Rineke Dijkstra, Naomi Fisher, Ann Hamilton, Nikki S. Lee, Malerie Marder, Marzia Migliora, Ingrid Mwangi, Patricia Piccinini, Vibeke Tandberg, Janaina Tschäpe, Sam Taylor-Wood, Annika von Hausswolff, Gillian Wearing