CarianaCarianne’s artistic project revolves around the task of gaining institutional acknowledgment for the two personalities existing in their singular, “collaborative” body. To this end, CarianaCarianne’s new exhibition at I Space includes notarized Last Will and Testament documents for both Cariana and Carianne, a request for a revised birth certificate to reflect the birth’s plurality, and drawings, video and sculpture that describe technologies to achieve, for example, the “merged image field” that allows Cariana and Carianne to observe and record themselves. Much has been made of the fact that CarianaCarianne are not mentally ill and do not experience themselves as having dissociative identity disorder or multiple personalities. And yet, their art has been confined by this unusual biography, trapped by a narrative of difference that informs and propels their process but also limits its range and effects. The visual elegance of the schematic drawings and the obvious challenge that CarianaCarianne pose to normative modes of perception and being are both effective in the gallery space. After a decade of this kind of work, however, one waits to see its expansion beyond legal contracts and recognition to encompass broader aesthetic questions about seeing and knowing. (Rachel Furnari)
CarianaCarianne shows at I Space, 230 W. Superior, (312)587-9976, through December 20.