SELF-EXPRESSION OR SOCIAL CONFORMITY?
Curated by Zainab Kazaure '23 and Cassiel Arcilla '23
Following years of restricting labels actualized by the rise of the internet, our generation has prompted a cultural shift in the realm of identity and expression which has encouraged introspection surrounding personal style. Just as digital media has amplified the association between style and self-expression within limited categories, it has also allowed the exploration and the intertwining of aesthetics and subcultures. With endless discovery for identity, the emerging subcultures and styles have created space for marginalized communities to establish a sense of self within spaces that once didn’t create room for them. And in the world of fashion overall, it is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to cultivate the narrow, inaccessible high fashion archetype that consumers once bought into.
While style does not necessarily define an individual, it has the power to encapsulate as much (or as little) of their identity as they allow to express. There is both now the ability amongst people to tell whatever kind of story with what they want, or no story at all, through how they present. The boxes people once tried so hard to fit in are dissolving and we are embracing the intersections and all the unconventionality that comes with presenting and existing in whichever way feels best to you. And with Generation Z being the most ethnically and racially diverse generation that is also the most embracing of non-traditional views of gender - we are also raising questions about the political, social, and environmental impacts that are tied to self-expression.
This exhibition includes works by three creatives that display, document and explore the nature of Generation Z’s expression. These artists’ works touch on and raise questions about navigating self-expression in the world of social media, the role introspection has to play, the semiotics of preference surrounding aesthetics as an artist, and what timelessness as pertaining to personal style truly entails.
- Stamp Gallery