Identity is whatever we say it is. Or is it? Maybe we are who we are told we are. Perhaps we are who we think we are. Or are we who we know we are? Matters surrounding identity produce more questions than answers.

Usually we are identified via “official” documents, such as identity cards, passports, records of our birth. As well as:

My Country Has No Name by Toyin Ojih Odutola
  • How we look: from physical appearance to material (how we dress and present ourselves) that automatically pigeonholes us into a category and acts as a shortcut for others to identify us
  • The question truly is, how do I identify myself? That’s incredibly personal and a never-ending dialogue

When I first saw works by Toyin Ojih Odutola, I had a medley of responses. Some pieces warrant profound consideration and exploration. Whilst others, I could immediately and sincerely relate to.
My mixed response was not because of the artist, more because of how she explores the subject matter.
Have a look at her website to make your own conclusion(s).

Opened  7 February 2019 – 7 July 2019, Show Me as I Want to Be Seen is an exhibition at the CJM in San Francisco. It aims to explore the following themes: “How do we depict “the self” if it is unknowable, inherently constructed, and ever-changing? How does the concept of portraiture shift when categories are in crisis and visibility itself is problematic?” Ojih Odutola’s Work is part of the exhibition.

Anchor (2018) by Toyin Ojih Odutola

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