The two artists that portray Identity in more than one form are Kara Walker and Tracey Moffatt. The pieces of work I have chosen express different problems within society when it comes to Identity.
Kara Walker’s piece of work I have chosen is “Untitled” from her exhibition “My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love” which was her “first full-scale American museum survey”  Kara Walker creates her artwork using black-paper silhouettes, which is Walker’s signature technique. Tracey Moffatt creates her work by using photographic cameras, the photograph I have chosen is “Doll Birth, 1972” from eh series scared for life, the medium Moffatt has used photolithograph. The caption underneath quotes, “His mother caught him giving birth to a doll. He was banned from playing with the boy next door again”.
Kara Walker’s work represents her view on slavery, “race representation in the context of discrimination, exclusion, sexual desire and love” Walker has used one block colour against a white background, this techniques that Walker has used express how Identity is taken into account when it comes to labelling someone. The way she shows her opinion on racism, slavery and stereotypes within her work provides the viewer of the history and emotion of Walker’s piece. This particular piece of Kara Walker’s work gives the whole image a feeling of identity, the given title compels how in history race and colour has, and always will be, an issue because the way Walker has represented the block image shows two women dressed in straw clothing, being controlled by two men. The image reminds me of a circus as the women are the main attraction and the men are the ringleaders in control calling all the commands, in similarity to how society can be.
The use of the block image against the white background expresses the pain and suffering of Walker’s ancestors, she uses theses distinctive and simple colours because they best show the history of slave labour, violence and racism to the strongest possible impression. A quote from Kara Walker shows the meaning behind her work; “It’s interesting that as soon as you start telling the story of racism, you start reliving the story…You keep creating a monster that swallows you. But as long as there’s Darfur, as long as there are people saying, ‘Hay, you don’t belong here’ to others, it only seems realistic to continue investigating the terrain of racism.” From this quote, Walker is trying to prove the violation of others by giving them a label, classing them as different when we are all the same.
Tracey Moffatt’s photograph, ‘Doll Birth, 1972’ represents how colour is taken into condense back in the 1970s and still partly today. The caption underneath the photograph quotes, “His mother caught him giving birth to a doll. He was banned from playing with the boy next door again.” Because the boy was caught acting in a way that was unacceptable, he had then lost his right to have an identity of his own. The other concept of this photograph represents how when roles are changed between men and women, even when young children are playing, it isn’t permitted for two young boys to be playing a game such as the one in ‘Doll Birth, 1972’.
Tracey Moffatt expresses how identity is, “…about the murk in all of us, the subconscious.” Moffatt is expressing with in the photograph the way identity, stereotype and racism is taken into conception when children begin doing particular things out of their ‘nature’. Stereotype is the strongest of the three because Tracey Moffatt has shown beautifully that due to the young boy giving birth to a doll/ baby, when that is what women are ‘created’ for, ahs then made the child as a person question his sexuality, in some form, the photograph is asking the same question of the viewer. I believe Moffatt has some what forces the viewers to question themselves in the way they act, she is getting them to ask themselves to how they come across when identity, stereotype and racism comes across the table. When looking at Tracey Moffatt’s photographs, the main aspect she refers to is identity, as within the photograph the boy’s mother is choosing his identity for him and the way the young boy should be leading his life compared to how he may want his childhood, lifestyle and experiences to be like. With Moffatt’s photograph, the significant item, for me, is the doll the boy’s are playing with as it refers to racism, femininity and most of all identity because the doll, as a reference, shows that colour and sex are the biggest problems when it comes to identity as in my opinion, Moffatt is saying people are judgemental with race and sex in other people identities. As an overall photograph Tracey Moffatt refers to the image by using identity to say, “…the intricate web of thought, action, words and image capturing the chasm of ongoing trauma are presented.” Moffatt expresses to the public that our thoughts and actions come to a whole through our identities, these are what play the biggest roles when comes to presenting ourselves to others. The actions and thoughts we have do provide reprocucions, even if they are ones we don’t consider, they do have a major production in our life’s and of others around us, Tracey Moffatt has shown this perfectly in her photograph ‘Doll Birth, 1972’.
For myself, Moffatt is providing her opinions and feelings towards racism, stereotype, feminism and sexuality, which all of these then link to identity because of having the young boy in the photograph giving birth to a doll, Moffatt has opened the viewers mind up to think about how we portray ourselves and each others. The young boy giving birth to the doll also opens the door to sexuality and stereotype as many people judge others for who they are and mainly for what that person want to do or be. From the quote, “His mother caught him giving birth to a doll. He was banned from playing with the boy next door again.” I get a better understanding of how and why Moffatt is expressing identity in the photograph because of the boy’s mother banning him from playing with the child next door, she is then controlling her sons actions and childhood instead of allowing her son to mould his own identity.