They are enmeshed in a serious discussion, poised for a kiss or a fuck, or lighting sparklers on a grassy field. As in Sherman's work, all quickly conjure narratives. Are they a happy couple or about to break up? Straight or gay? Eventually you realize that all the figures are the same woman, a friend who has been the artist's exclusive model for the past few years.
As the 33-year-old Connell is part of a generation that has few qualms about Photoshop magic, her work is less about seamless digital manipulation than about hefty psychosocial concerns in contemporary life. Connell has said her pictures are an "honest representation of the duality or multiplicity of the self." She does this by literalizing the myth of Narcissus, a tale that involves longing, incest, and the curse of delusion. The convincing reality of the pictures also heats up dialogues about homosexuality, cloning, and, ultimately, the highly constructed nature of identity. Without ever needing to appear on TV. *
ALICE SHAW: "GROUP SHOW"
Through July 12, free
Mon.Fri., 9 a.m.5 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.5 p.m.; and by appointment
501 Third St., SF
KELLI CONNELL: "DOUBLE LIFE"
Through July 14, free
Tues.Fri., 9:30 a.m.5:30 p.m.; Sat., 10:30 a.m.5:30 p.m.
Stephen Wirtz Gallery
49 Geary, SF