Rania Matar presents her most recent series of portraits, "On Either Side of the Window" at The Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Florida
from 16 January until 9 May.The idea of the work is to encourage viewers to reflect on how we relate to each other. "It feels as if the news is always dividing us as 'them versus us', and now here we are a 'we': all in this together, in the same boat, with life at a standstill and reduced to the confinement of home,"
says Matar. "This virus is such an equaliser, making us all reevaluate our shared humanity, our fragility, and our priorities."
The artist began by photographing friends at their homes, but the project quickly evolved into a community wide project and Rania photographed more than 100 people in Massachusetts who agreed to be photographed by her.
Evocative and insightful, the photographs capture a moment of “connecting across barriers,” that emphasizes the collaboration between photographer and sitter: “As the weeks went by and the “new normal” settled in, the portraits started transforming with the window almost acting like a stage and people on the inside becoming active participants in the photo session, bringing their ideas and their performances to the interaction we were creating.” This exhibition is organized by the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in collaboration with the artist. Rania Matar
is a Guggenheim 2018 Fellow who was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 1984. Her photography work is informed by her cultural background and cross-cultural experience; and she's previously created works deducted to exploring issues of personal and collective identity, including female adolescence and womanhood both in the United States where she lives and the Middle East where she is from. Their aims were to "focus on notions of identity and individuality all within the context of the underlying universality of these experiences," says the artist.
Rania Matar is represented by East Wing.