We, Ourselves, and Us is a body of work exploring the notions of identity in the context of technological advancements in human cloning. As these advancements take place, a re-evaluation of our current understandings of identity will inevitably follow. This series considers how the notions of identity will evolve (or regress) in response to cloning technology.
The work began as a series of diptychs with identical twins as the subjects. The existing biological connection that they share naturally intimates multiplicity and disintegrates the notion of an “original.” Discrepancies between the diptychs were created to visually represent the variations between the subjects due to environmental influence, and raise questions about the nature of their relationship with respect to time, space, and physicality.
My residency at Gallery 44 has allowed me to expand on the series and explore dimensions of identity in new ways, culminating in this first triptych of the series. While the previous diptychs seemingly lacked order, this set of images presents a progression of time and elements of a narrative. Advancements in cloning technology will initiate a breaking down of existing notions of identity, and necessitate an integration of old and new streams of thought. These images playfully explore whether pervasive cloning will allow individual identities to be retained or if these distinctions will begin to disintegrate, and whether this process will occur harmoniously or chaotically.
Steven Beckly is a photo-based artist living and working in Toronto, Canada. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions in John B. Aird Gallery (Toronto, ON), Newspace Center for Photography (Portland, OR), Photo Center NW (Seattle, WA), and the University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA). His images have been featured in major international publications, including Photo Life (Canada), The Photo Review (USA), and Photo World (China). Recently, he was awarded the Director's Choice Award at the 2010 Center Awards.