In 2006, Time magazine chose “You” as its Person of the Year, lauding millions of Internet providers for turning once-private amusements (amateur singing, pranks on friends, infant antics) into global entertainment. These snippets don’t reveal much about the individual contributors to that collective “You.” Shorn of social context, they’re just “guy who wakes sleeping pal with fireworks” or “baby who shuffles cards.” I-dentity, which opens at 6 p.m. Thursday at the UMKC Gallery of Art (5100 Rockhill Road, 816-235-1502), allows roughly a dozen California and New York masters of video media (including Anthony Goicolea and Bruce Yonemoto) to present the personalities, motives and ideals behind their works. By exploring internal emotional dialogues, identity crises, race and gender questions, and other essence-of-self issues via installations, they’ve turned video exhibitionism into high art. Surrounded by moving images, visitors might face initial visual overload, but there’s no noise to compound the disorientation. Headphones next to the monitors let browsers focus on specific stories.
UMKC Gallery of Art
Feb. 7-March 8, 2008