Art Info / Item Details
Nancy Burson, 1982
Featured in the In Your Face exhibition
Materials: Gelatin silver print
Dimensions: 35.56 x 27.94 cm, 14 x 11 inches
Signed, dated, in black ink, recto
Nancy Burson produced some of the earliest computer-generated portraits, and in collaboration with MIT engineers Richard Carling and David Kramlich, became a pioneer in the now familiar territory of computer-manipulated imagery. With 'Androgyny' Burson merged the photos of six men and six women, creating a portrait which raises puzzling questions about gender. Is this the face of the future, the result of the merging of masculine and feminine features through successive generations of reproduction, and if so, how can this, the face of sexual reproduction, be so asexual, un-gendered? Or is this an image which blurs not only the physical differences but also our conceptual distinctions between male and female, and in so doing reveals the superficiality of that difference; and perhaps more worryingly the superficiality of identity, the crucial sense of self and other which underwrites our perspective on the society in which we live?