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Exhibition story

A photograph of two women so alike they must be sisters (in actuality, both are portrayed by the artist); each has a bob haircut and fur-collared jacket, with the woman on the right looking more 'dressed up'.

‘Looking Out, Looking In: Exploring the Self-Portrait’

‘Looking Out, Looking In’ explores the complex and fascinating subject of the self-portrait. Works by Australian and international artists, from the past to the present, display a wide range of approaches. While some artists look inwards to reflect on themselves in self-effacing ways, others seek to project a more flamboyant image.

Drawing on QAGOMA’s rich and diverse Collection, the exhibition was devised against the backdrop of contemporary ‘selfie’ culture. We have become increasingly attuned to the self-image through social media and reality TV, providing a context in which to examine the enduring human interest in the self. The exhibition includes artworks that reflect our times, as well as earlier examples of the genre. Seen together, they reveal significant cultural shifts and universal themes.

This Digital Story is a permanent archive of resources from 'Looking Out, Looking In', a free exhibition held in QAG's Gallery 4 from 11 March to 6 August 2023. 

Feature image: Cindy Sherman / United States b.1954 / Untitled (detail) 2007/2008 / Purchased 2011 with funds from Tim Fairfax AM through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: QAGOMA / © Cindy Sherman