Are You Really My Friend? Online
Tanja Alexia Hollander
From the website of the Portland Museum of Art (where the exhibition will be showing between February and June, 2012):
Facebook friendships exist in the nebulous world of cyberspace. Social networking creates a forum where we may connect or reconnect deeply with dear friends or become acquainted with new ones on a superficial level. But what happens when we reach across real time and space to physically connect with these same “friends”?
In her new exhibition, Maine artist Tanja Alexia Hollander examines that question; she collapses the intangibility of cyberspace by traveling around the world on a modern-day odyssey to actually visit her 600 (and growing) Facebook friends. In this rich and multi-dimensional project, Hollander photographs her Facebook friends, prints images on paper, and exhibits the prints on gallery walls, causing her cyber-friend connections to become real and personal.
Hollander’s process will be explored by encouraging interaction through visitor comments and an ever-changing installation of portraits through the run of the exhibition. Are viewers supposed to acknowledge the artist’s creativity, photographic skill, and role within the tradition of portraiture, or should we instead critique the management of her Facebook page? This exhibition is the fifth in a series of exhibitions called Circa that explores compelling aspects of contemporary art in the state of Maine and beyond.