press release

Shoot the Family explores the undercurrents of contemporary domestic life, focusing on artists' portrayals of members of their own families. The artists press family members and partners into service as subjects, creating photographs and videos that are often harrowingly intimate. The works question any pretense of objectivity between image-maker and subject. The exhibition comprises about 50 works made in the past fifteen years by North American, European, and Asian artists, suggesting that family matters are never only about the personal, but suggest historical, economic, social, and cultural considerations. The artists draw from documentary and staged photographic practices, as well as including conceptual and performance art.

Rather than drawing on extroverted, upbeat notions of the everyday, many recent artists exploring domesticity have turned to more complex reflections on who we are at home in the private space of family life. Perhaps as a reaction to the rise of design and "life-style" oriented art in the 1990s, some of the artiests in Shoot the Family shed light on the formation of each individual's physical, cultural, and sexual identity, on the nucleus that has shaped and influenced each artist, or in some cases, the values and traits that they have passed along to their own families. At the same time, the family is linked to a nexus of issues including the impact of war and financial hardship, the power of gender and ethnic stereotypes, and the effect of changing marital and generational roles. The exhibition presents a multilayered view of the family as a dynamic and fluid social institution.

Artists include Yasser Aggour, Janine Antoni, Lyle Ashton Harris, Jonathan Monk, Annee Olofsson, Adrian Paci, Chris Verene, Gillian Wearing, and Zhang Huan, to name a few.

Shoot the Family is a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by Independent Curators International (iCI), New York and curated by Ralph Rugoff. The exhibition, tour and publication are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, with additional support from the iCI Exhibition Partners and the iCI independents.


Shoot the Family

mit Yasser Aggour, Darren Almond, Janine Antoni, Richard Billingham, Miguel Calderon, Mitch Epstein, Hai Bo, Lyle Ashton Harris, Ari Marcopoulos, Malerie Marder, Jonathan Monk, Annee Olofsson, Adrian Paci, Chris Verene, Gillian Wearing, Zhang Huan