"For Man Ray, a sense of otherness was deeply connected to the problem of assimilation—the wish for both “notoriety” and “oblivion”—and hence “the desire to become a tree en espalier,” a tree trained to grow into a vine that becomes entwined with others, its origins disguised. The artist’s self-consciousness was an outgrowth of his time, a period that witnessed the rise of nation-state identity and xenophobia, and an unprecedented wave of immigration, class consciousness, and anti-Semitism. His life and work powerfully reflect his contradictory need to obscure and declare himself."
(The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows, 1915–16)
At The Jewish Museum of New York
Nov 15th - March 14, 2010