591 Spring Exhibition: 150 Images of men and women
|photo Tamás Holhos|
What does it mean to be a “man”? A “woman”? There are historical and cultural contexts, of course, but definitions and descriptions have broadened considerably in the past half century. In large, contemporary thinking about gender centers on power, domination, and the subverting of traditional hierarchies. “Cult studs,” those at the epicenter of cultural criticism, have come to dominate the intellectual landscape, picking at gaps and chasms and the borders of meaning. It has been liberating. And it has been fun.
|photo Emilie Hallard|
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to view the photographs that comprise the show you are about to see with a group of first and second year college students enrolled in photography courses. I wanted to “hear” what they “saw.” They spoke, of course, of the formal aesthetic qualities of the images, of placement and movement, of light and shadow, but soon enough the discussion turned to content and meaning, and the images assumed a sort of informal narrative, the photographs interacting, the subjects evolving into characters imbued with desire and conflict, expectation and irony.
|photo Judit Keglovic|
That is the human impulse, of course--to turn things into narrative. It is how we learn, and how we make meaning. And narratives, if they are any good, take on a personal flavor.
“Hey, that looks just like my uncle,” one of the students cried, and the room burst into laughter. “My dad does that, too,” giggled another. Indeed, we all knew someone in these pictures which began to coalesce into a strange family album. And what a family! The pictures came to speak of what it means to be young, to be old, to be privileged, to be poor, to be isolated or or to be in love.
|photo Michael Kirchoff|
What we find in “Images of Men and Women” is just that, images of men and women in all their varied forms. And it is more. It is the story of who we are as human beings, of what we are and how we do. It is, in part, a story of the human condition.
The photographers represented in this exhibit allow us to see ourselves in others and as others, perhaps, in turn view us. They have taken extraordinary lives and made them familiar. They have given us the familiar and made it strange. And therein lies the power of this collection. We are Men. We are Women. And we are something else besides.
- WIlliam Schmidt
Selection of photographs - Rhonda Prince, Paolo Saccheri, Mikael Jansson and Ulf Fågelhammar.
Album edited by Ulf Fågelhammar aka Mr Urbano
Poster by Michael Winnerholt