I. Me. Mine.

Colby Jones, Mohammad Rezaei, and Alia Shahab
Curated by Evan Smibert

February 10 to March 17, 2012

For the 5th annual iteration of TNG’s post-secondary curatorial internship project, U of C student Evan Smibert has curated an exhibition of work from the Alberta College of Art + Design dealing with questions of personal identity.


All is changeable, nothing is constant.

— Buddhist proverb

The Buddha once famously said that all of his teachings could be condensed into one sentence, “Nothing is to be clung to as ‘I,’ ‘me,’ or ‘mine.’” In Buddhism, this clinging is seen as the root of all suffering and afflictive emotion and this identification occurs without us realizing it or questioning its accuracy.

What does it mean to be human? Who do we actually think we are? What do we think we are? Who are we as individuals and what is our purpose? These fundamental questions contribute to the ongoing personal, social and political discourse surrounding Identity. Three students from The Alberta College of Art + Design attempt to address these questions and other issues concerning identity in the exhibition I. Me. Mine.

Identity defined through culture and relationships is a preeminent theme in Western art and art discourse in the late twentieth century and today. While the connection between art and identity has existed throughout history, the ways in which humans understand themselves or conceive of their identity is constantly changing.

We come to know the world through our senses in the present moment. Our constructed identity emerges out of the complex play of particular causes and conditions that are themselves always changing. We may feel at times that we can never change and at other times, we may feel lost not knowing who we are. Identity is always in flux.

Alia Shahab’s Perspectives of Perception is an interactive installation that explores a fluid, visual perception of identity. Images from the past and present are cast upon a video projection of an eye manifesting how our past can obscure the present moment.

Mohammad Rezaei’s piece Which I?, is a constructed space demonstrating how identity is shaped and transformed in different environments. The saturated black and white imagery embodies the essence of being or true nature, upon which we construct our identity.

Colby Jones’ Twin series of photographs illustrate a struggle for identity as identical twins mature into adults. How does one come to terms with who they were, are and want to be?

– Evan Smibert


Alia Shahab is a new media and interactive installation artist, completing her final year at the Alberta College of Art + Design. She is also Arts Facilitator for a small organization called Antyx Community Arts, and is currently involved with organizing a new interactive arts festival at ACAD called Stage Festival.

Mohammad Rezaei is a performance and installation artist. He strives to capture current social issues through videos that give a personal perspective on the subject matter. He is in his final year at the Alberta College of Art + Design, majoring in Media Arts and Digital Technologies.

I like reality because I do what I love. I like daydreaming because it’s magical. I like when my daydreams become reality.”

As an artist, musician, and curator, Evan Smibert is interested in the act of creating art with the capacity to heal, enlighten and embody truth. In 2012, he will earn his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Concentration from the University of Calgary.