Till We Have Faces
December 2, 2015-January 10, 2016
“Till that word can be dug out of us,
why should they hear the babble that we think we mean?
How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?"
― C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces
We are known by our face: our physical features, the expression of our feelings, our identities of gender and ethnicity - our face is what we present to the world and how the world perceives us. But what does it mean to truly see and be seen? What is our true face?
The artists in "Till We Have Faces" share a common interest in exploring reality and identity through studying the faces of various individuals. Lydia Samson uses allegorical characters in her portraits to visually process through what it means to be human, exploring and questioning her own beliefs as she brings the faces to life on canvas. Sophia Dawson employs portraiture as a means to bring the viewer in intimate dialogue with members of the Central Park Five (five young men of color wrongfully accused, convicted and imprisoned) and in doing so, allows us to face our own assumptions and prejudices. Through photographing people he knows, Elias Popa invites the viewer into a space free from distraction to see the simple beauty of a fellow human being, validating the other’s humanity even as we consider our own.
Perhaps what we see and how we are seen now is but through a glass darkly, an image distorted by our own biases and interpretations of reality. In this season of Advent, the Church celebrates and anticipates seeing the Ultimate Face of glory and love, contemplating how the knowledge of that Face may indeed give us our true faces.