Virtual Identities
Palazzo Strozzi
  Strozzina
       
         

 

 


Evan Baden
Series "The Illuminati"
Installation view at CCC Strozzina, Firenze
Photo: Martino Margheri
Courtesy the artist












Lila with Nintendo DS, 2007
C-Print on plexiglass
Courtesy l'artista / the artist

Evan Baden (1985, Saudi Arabia; lives and works in St Paul, MN, USA) attended the College of Visual Arts in St Paul, Minnesota, and graduated with a BFA in photography in 2007. His photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, and added to the collections of the Walker Art Center, Milwaukee Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. In 2008 he received the Jerome Fellowship for Emerging Artists. In 2009 Baden was nominated for the Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers. His works have been exhibited in venues like the Locomo Cultural Centre, Turku (Finland); the University of Toronto Art Centre; the Galleria Contemporaneo, Venice; the Printspace Gallery, London; and in Paris at Paris Photo and Galerie du jour Agnes B.

The young American artist Evan Baden belongs to the generation of the "digital natives", i.e. people who grew up using the internet on a daily basis and for whom "being connected" is a normal everyday cultural practice.
For his series entitled The Illuminati, Baden observed several young people interacting with their digital devices. Their expression suggests a detachment between the awareness of their physical presence and their mental focus, connected to the digital dimension. The direction of the subjects' gaze and the angle of the source of light meet on a single axis, reinforcing the impression of intimate vicinity and close affinity between the technological device and the user. However the perspective of the photographs places viewers in the position of outsiders, for they are unable to relate or connect with either the eyes of the subjects portrayed or what is happening on the screens. Using the illumination of the screens as the sole source of light, Baden appears to allude to the evocative stylistic contrast of light and shade typical of XVII century painting. This contrast isolates the subjects, alienating them from their surroundings. The spiritual aspect becomes the central element of the work that Baden transforms into a sort of digital allegory. Baden describes this allegory with words that allude to an almost mystical meaning: "More and more, we are bathed in a silent, soft and heavenly blue glow. It is as if we carry divinity in our pockets and purses."



Shannon with iPod, 2007
C-Print on plexiglass
Courtesy l'artista / the artist

    EVAN BADEN
CHRISTOPHER BAKER
NATALIE BOOKCHIN
ROBBIE COOPER
etoy.CORPORATION
NICHOLAS FELTON
LES LIENS INVISIBLES
CHRIS OAKLEY
SOCIABLE MEDIA GROUP

MICHAEL WOLF
Special project: I AM NEDA
Special project: ME 2.0


         
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