Co-Curated with Taryn Haydostian for MOPLA, Month of Photography Los Angeles in 2013. 
Featured work by Jossi BieberErin DesmondTaryn HaydostianChris Liem, Grace Nielson, and Elizabeth Preger
Press Release:
ICON Projects is pleased to announce elusion | allusion | illusion, a group exhibition of six Los  Angeles-based photographers, all of whom graduated from the undergraduate art program at UCLA within the past five years. Their practices, while distinct, are connected by an investigation of identity  through perception, intimacy, and gender. Heavily influenced by the disparate practices of UCLA  photography professors Catherine Opie and James Welling, they represent a new generation of  artists working with photography in the context of contemporary art, continuously fluctuating between  romantic and postmodern sensibilities. 
In Embodiments, Erin Desmond creates situations in which both friends and strangers are invited  to participate in a performance of platonic intimacy. Participants are asked to lie on top of one  another and be photographed – a simple act, yet one that requires a level of trust that is not often  encountered. The exploration of intimacy is encountered again in Grace Nielson’s photographs of  men. Her images seek a vulnerability and tenderness in the masculine form and identity, in stark  contrast to Jossi Bieber’s documentation of masculine performance. Bieber acts as “both witness and  participant in the construction of masculine identity; as both voyeur and performer.”  
Elizabeth Preger “shoot[s] female bodies and landscapes, but the figures in my images are cut up,  displaced and faceless...[my] focus is not on personalities but on the body as a site of mortality: an  inert object that must contend with the grand landscapes of the American West.” Reciprocal are Taryn Haydostian’s images in a gesture without motion, which also eschew the personal to focus on the female body in the landscape. This time, however, they are active objects - participants in  “performances created specifically to exist as - and only as - photographs.” The disquiet of Preger’s  and Haydostian’s work is magnified by the absence of bodies in Chris Liem’s images. “I wanted to  use the camera and flash to record something latent. I am interested in creating an atmosphere of  disorientation, unraveling a viewer's sense of direction or place.” 
elusion | allusion | illusion is an official exhibition of MOPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles).  Paper was generously donated by Freestyle Photographic Supplies and ILFORD, and mounting  services provided by Fine Art Solutions. ICON Projects is an alternative gallery space dedicated to  educating the public about photography through exhibitions and public programs.
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