Photographic Center Northwest Capitol Hill
Jan 8–April 8, Mondays–Thursdays and Saturdays–Sundays
Recommended by Charles Mudede
There is nothing really original about Jun Ahn’s self-portraits. They are easily understandable. A slim-looking woman, usually in a purple or blue dress, sits or stands on the edge of a skyscraper in a massive city of skyscrapers (New York City, Hong Kong, Seoul). Yet, they are still amazing. Why? Because they capture the same sublime we find in Caspar David Friedrich’s 1818 painting Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog. But Jun Ahn’s is the urban sublime. And this sublime is far more strange than the one that impressed the romantics of the 18th and 19th centuries. This sublime is not the radical other. It is radically us. Her self-portraits are portraits of the human condition in the 21st century.