Review: Masculinities: Liberation through Photography at Gropius Bau

vor 5 Monaten

The exhibition Masculinities: Liberation Through Photography has extended its showing at Gropius Bau in the German capital until March 17th.

John Coplans, Self-Portrait (Frieze No. 2, Four Panels), 1994 © The John Coplans Trust

Rejoice! While cultural institutions still lay dormant, without a single footprint hitting an institute’s surface since ‘lockdown lite’ hit Berlin on Nov 15th, art junkies have been given the opportunity to take a solo tour of grand exhibitions via the internet. All viewed from one’s own apartment (or like me, bed).

AFGHANISTAN. Kandahar. 2002. Taliban portrait.

Adi Nes, Untitled, From the series “Soldiers”, 1999

Peter Hujar, David Brintzenhofe Applying Makeup (II), 1982

Without the physicality of being in a gallery or museum space one may not get the full engagement, however knowledge is always key. And one can certainly learn a lot from the Gropius Bau extended show. Masculinities: Liberation through Photography, curated by Alona Pardo of Barbican Centre, recently got an extension until March 17th.

Masculinities: Liberation through Photography is an exhibition that explores the idea of male identity through film and photography where masculinity has been coded, performed and socially constructed from the 1960s up until the present day. Over the years, the idea of what it means to be masculine has changed dramatically and through the six thematic points of this exhibition we begin to learn what and how has influenced these changes. From queerness to the fetished body, power and patriarchy, the perception of men by women, heteronormative stereotypes, hegemonic masculinity and the family, artists over the last five decades have been able to present to us the social and cultural forcres through their lens and gaze. 

Across six chapters that teach and give understanding, including  ‘Male Order: Power, Patriarchy and Space’ to ‘Women on Men: Reversing the Male Gaze’ and artists featured such as Hans Eijkelboom, Sunil Gupta, Richard Avedon and Tracey Moffat, this exhibition is beautifully curated as well as educational, and all this with the pleasure of staying indoors at home during these cold winter months!

 

All images courtesy of VG Bild-Kunst

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