Theme Issue: Identity Politics

Return to Issue 8 (2015) Table of Contents

Identity Politics: Introduction by Rachel Zimmermann, Associate Editor

The goal of VJIC is to provide a stream of ideas and concepts concerning our global visual language. 

Throughout history artists and academics alike have been significantly concerned with  the relationship between art and issues of identity. From class distinctions in the funerary arts of Han Dynasty, China (206 BCE – 220 CE) to contemporary investigations of the role advertisements and popular media play in constructing an “ideal,” female body image, one can see an explicit connection between representations and the various categories of  identity—in terms of both a collective and an individual.
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Identity Politics – June 2015
Third of three installments.

(Installments listed  most recent first)

© Christine Peschek

© Christine Peschek

Christiane Peschek
13 Kinder

13 Kinder explores the enigmatic process of self-projection seen through the eyes of 13 Viennese orphaned children aged 4 to 10. For several months I worked with them on 13 potential futures that lack of referential past, on a process of imagination, self-reflection and representation. I was interested in the link between the memory and … more

© Jana Madzigo

© Jana Madzigon

Jana Madzigon
Let there be Lucy

Lucy leads a secluded life without TV, radio, and mobile phone on the outskirts of Vienna. Her daily routine merges into preparations for the Vienna Regenbogen (Rainbow) Ball… more

© Abdi Osman

© Abdi Osman

Abdi Osman

Labeeb is an intimate portrait of Sumaya, a Somali trans-woman. The project consists of large-scale color photographs. Some of the photographs are studio portraits where Sumaya sat for the artist; others depict Sumaya in her daily life. The photographs add texture and complexity to Osman’s attempt to engage with questions of gender, sexuality,  and … more


Dena Elisabeth Eber

© Dena Elisabeth Eber

Dena Elisabeth Eber
Her Mikveh

This work addresses the way contemporary American Jewish women reconcile their ancient identities within the context of their feminist ideals in an assimilated world. To have this conversation I use the ancient religious ritual performed by women of immersing oneself in a “mikveh,” … more

Identity Politics – April 2015
Second of three installments.

(Installments are listed with the most recent first)

Tank Girl

Described as being “Tank Girl as a boi meets Mursi tribe of Ethiopa.”

Ace Lehner
Checking Out Original Plumbing: Considering the political, social and aesthetic relevance of the most popular Trans Male Quarterly in the U.S.

From Laverne Cox on the cover of TIME magazine to Jared Leto’s portrayal of Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, the United States saw an unprecedented number of trans* people in popular culture … more

© Sira-Zoe Schmid

© Sira-Zoe Schmid

Sira-Zoe Schmid
The Untitled Portrait Series

On the other hand the body becomes a sculpture, and by erasing the face the body becomes a body without identity. Yet, this identity is not entirely … more

© williams

© Williams

Antoine Williams
Animal Illustrations

I question how low-income communities of color and their relation with other social classes affect perception and behavior. My work is heavily influenced by sci-fi literature, such as Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451. I believe science fiction relates greatly to the Black experience … more

© Nguyen  from video: Processing of Affection

© Nguyen from video: Processing of Affection


Anh-Thuy Nguyen
Thuy & Rice

  Thuý & Rice portrays my responses to my Vietnamese heritage’s expectations and belief via a semi-fictional character named, Thuý. The act of sculpting a rice ball is a representationmore

© Fini  from video "Fair and Lost"

© Fini from video “Fair and Lost”

Francesca Fini
Fair and Lost

I was always fascinated by how different men are from me. It seems to me that their minds are built from boxes obsessed by power and their penis. … more

Identity Politics – February 2015
(First of three installments)

Screen grab: © Washko

Screen grab: © Washko

Angela Washko
Playing A Girl

Washko is interested in the impulse of the community/player-base to create a somewhat oppressive, misogynistic space for women within a physical environment that is otherwise accessible and inviting. Furthermore, WoW is a geographically, politically, economically, socially, and racially diverse community . … more

© Annu Palakunnathu Matthew.

Courtesy Annu Palakunnathu Matthew and sepiaEYE, nyc.

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew
An Indian from India

As an immigrant, I am often questioned about where I am “really from.”  When I say that I am Indian, I often have to clarify that I am an Indian from India.  It seems strange that all this confusion started because Christopher Columbus thought … more

Gazelle Samizay

© Gazelle Samizay

Gazelle Samizay
Upon My Daughter

Several women collectively embroider the wedding dress of a young bride as she wears it. Each thread and stitch symbolizes one piece of advice the young bride is given. Individually, the threads are very delicate, but amassed together their strength… more


© Jess Dugan
© Jess Dugan


Jess Dugan
Every Breath We Drew

 Working within the framework of queer experience and from my actively constructed sense of masculinity, my portraits examine the intersection between private, individual identity and the search for intimate connection more

© Video Screen Capture Eva Szombat "Eve's Adam"

© Video Screen Capture Eva Szombat “Eve’s Adam”

Eva Szombat
Eve’s Adams

I was always fascinated by how different men are from me. It seems to me that their minds are built from boxes obsessed by power and their penis. … more

© Sarah Ferguson

© Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson

I am devoted to exposing advertisements as controlling mechanisms that destroy women and promote corporate greed at the expense of our humanity. Currently, my body of work consists of almost one hundred artworks. … more