JORGE’S PHOTOGRAPHS AND COLLAGES, whether by themselves or as installations, capture moments. When I first saw his work, I related to it immediately because his pieces are studies, or they study, human nature, social stratifications, and interconnectivity.
Perez’s work asks the viewer to step back and look, not only at the image but at yourself looking. Because of this sense that the viewer is a part of the piece, his work can be disquieting. It is for all of these reasons that I knew his work would be perfect for RACE AND REVOLUTION. The way his work asks us to question our role in social experiences reflects how I have approached researching for Race and Revolution.
- What has been my role as a white woman in maintaining the status quo?
- What responsibility do I have to seek more or to seek better for others?
- How comfortable am I with dealing with resistance and anger?
Perez’s work inspires these questions as I reflect on my role as curator. These questions make me doubt myself; they cause me to wonder if I can handle this project. But then I think of how Perez ask us to look at looking. I do that for myself: I look at my questions. When I look at them I realize they are based in fear and self-doubt. If I allow fear and self-doubt to win, then I become a passive player.
This is the power of Jorge Alberto Perez’s work: it forces a philosophical contemplation of who we are and the role we play. How do we look, and when we do look what do we see?