Twenty Questions (A Sampler) by Lorna Simpson is ambiguous from the start. Hesitating between Dada inspiration and the formal specificities of Art & Language, viewers must ask themselves what they are to make of these multiple photographs (to borrow a term from contemporary art). Aligned horizontally, four black-and-white portraits show a black woman from behind, with short texts accompanying the photographs which ask questions about image and gender. Like commands, their orality confronts the traditional film photography the artist uses to construct her modern tondi. “The underlying thread is my relationship to text and ideas about representation,” says Simpson.
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