Look familiar? For our latest site-specific commission, artist Stephanie Syjuco creates an expansive multimedia installation that transforms images of renowned works from the Carter’s collection and investigates narratives of national identity. Using digital editing, staged photography, and archival excavation to reframe works by Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Remington, and others, Stephanie Syjuco: Double Vision reconsiders mythologies of the American West and reveals how these works and their presentation within a museum can perpetuate colonial lore.
The exhibition, which includes floor-to-ceiling murals digitally reinterpreting two chromolithographs by Bierstadt, draws visitors in, asking us to consider the ways in which artists have participated in developing mythologies of the West. Through new works based on the Carter’s collection, Syjuco’s installation offers a thoughtful consideration of the role of museums in preserving, presenting, and interpreting these works—including details often hidden from public view like photographic and cataloging tools—and the ways in which institutional storytelling perpetuates these narratives. By reflecting on artists’ constructed mythologies of the West and the staging of the artworks within the museum context, Syjuco challenges us to consider what stories we tell about our nation, and what purposes and people they serve.