10
Oct
13

Exhibition: ‘The Gender Show’ at George Eastman House, Rochester, New York

Exhibition dates: 15th June – 13th October 2013

 

Vincent Cianni (American, b. 1952) 'Anthony hitting on Giselle, Vivien waiting, Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn' From the series 'We Skate Hardcore' 1996

 

Vincent Cianni (American, b. 1952)
Anthony hitting on Giselle, Vivien waiting, Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
1996
From the series We Skate Hardcore
Gelatin silver print
Purchased with funds from Mary Cianni
© Vincent Cianni

 

 

I am so sick of museums and art galleries not allowing me to publish photographs that I collect freely available elsewhere on the web to illustrate their exhibitions.

  1. I am promoting the exhibition free for them to over 9,000 people over 3 days
  2. The images are freely available elsewhere on the web
  3. I am promoting artists so that the work is more widely known, and that can only be a positive for the artist (and the price of their art through greater recognition)
  4. The images are 72dpi jpg – what do they think, that people are going to rip them off. They are such low quality anyway who cares!

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If artist’s are so precious about their work, even when someone is trying to promote it, then perhaps they should stop making art. Or perhaps it’s the archives and institutions, the patriarchies, that are just too protective of their precious mother-load.

Photography and photographs are ubiquitous. They are taken in the world and live in that world, not stuffed in some curators drawer or surrounded by a circle under the letter ©

 

This exhibition seems to have a finger in every gender pie without going hard core or in depth at anything. There seems to be no rhyme or reason, no catalogue to the exhibition (as far as I can ascertain), and no indication on how the exhibition is structured, even in the press release. How you would hope to cover such a broad topic in one exhibition is beyond me. That given, there are some fascinating photographs from the exhibition in this posting. My personal favourites in the posting are:

  • Donald York, Jr. standing beside his father’s wrecker, Millerton, New York by Mark Goodman (1974, below). Ah, the jouissance of youth (jouissance means enjoyment, in terms both of rights and property, and of sexual orgasm). Here “junior” is possessing the masculinity of his father’s truck while at the same time emphasising his youthful sexuality with short shorts, naked body, tilt of the hips, pose of the arm and slight cock of the head replete with hair falling over the eyes. There is a certain prepossession about this Donald York, a sexual knowing as he flirts with the camera. Beautiful image
  • Greta Garbo by Edward Steichen (1928, below). My god, how would you be as a photographer looking in the ground glass to see this visage staring back at you. Strength of character, vulnerability and eyes that seem to bore right through you. Face framed with black surmounted by pensive hands. A masterpiece
  • Ophelia Study No. 2 by Julia Margaret Cameron (1867, below). What an impression. Wistful, delicate, a ghostly slightly mad presence with hardly an existence but oh so memorable (Ophelia is a fictional character in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare that suffers from “erotomania, a malady conceived in biological and emotional terms which is a type of delusion in which the affected person believes that another person, usually a stranger, high-status or famous person, is in love with him or her.”(Wikipedia)) Madness and sexuality. The divine Miss Julia does it again…

 

Dr Marcus Bunyan

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Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Mark Goodman (American b. 1946) 'Donald York, Jr. standing beside his father's wrecker, Millerton, New York' 1974

 

Mark Goodman (American, b. 1946)
Donald York, Jr. standing beside his father’s wrecker, Millerton, New York
1974
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Dr and Mrs Maurice Miller
© Mark Goodman

 

Elias Goldensky (American, b. Russia 1867-1943) 'Head and shoulders study' c. 1920

 

Elias Goldensky (American, b. Russia 1867-1943)
Head and shoulders study
c. 1920
Gelatin silver print
Gift of 3M Company
Ex-collection of Louis Walton Sipley

 

Lewis W. Hine (American, 1874-1940) 'Greek Wrestling Club' c. 1910

 

Lewis W. Hine (American, 1874-1940)
Greek Wrestling Club
c. 1910
From the series Hull House, Chicago
Gelatin silver print
Transfer from Photo League Lewis Hine Memorial Committee; ex-collection of Corydon Hine

 

Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary, 1892-1965) 'Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. & Joan Crawford' c. 1930

 

Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary 1892-1965)
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. & Joan Crawford
c. 1930
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Mrs. Nickolas Muray
© Nickolas Muray Archives

 

Victor Keppler (American, 1904-1987) 'First Hair Cut' 1943

 

Victor Keppler (American, 1904-1987)
First Hair Cut
1943
Gelatin silver print
Gift of the photographer

 

Unidentified Photographer. 'Two women fencing' June 16, 1891

 

Unidentified Photographer
Two women fencing
June 16, 1891
Tintype
Museum Collection

 

Lewis W. Hine (American, 1874-1940) 'The boys learn to cook' c. 1935

 

Lewis W. Hine (American, 1874-1940)
The boys learn to cook
c. 1935
From the series The Ethical Culture Schools NYC
Gelatin silver print
Transfer from Photo League Lewis Hine Memorial Committee
Ex-collection of Corydon Hine

 

Mary Ellen Mark (American, 1940-2015) 'Hispanic Girl with Her Brother, Dallas, Texas' 1987

 

Mary Ellen Mark (American, 1940-2015)
Hispanic Girl with Her Brother, Dallas, Texas
1987, print c. 1991 by Sarah Jenkins
From the series Urban Poverty
Gelatin silver print
Gift of the photographer
© Mary Ellen Mark

 

 

In common use, the word gender may refer to biological sex, self-identity, perceived identity, or imposed identity. Gender can be both fluid and ambiguous. Many of the ways we express and identify gender are based on visual clues. George Eastman House is proud to present The Gender Show, an exhibition that explores ways gender has been presented in photographs, ranging from archetypal to non-traditional to subversive representations, with a special emphasis on the performances that photography can encourage or capture.

With a collection that spans over 170 years of photography, Eastman House is uniquely able to thoughtfully examine our changing cultural and social landscape, in which evolving ideas of gender are framed as photographic images. The Gender Show offers the opportunity to see important photographs from our collection in a new context. The Gender Show sets the stage for a lively discussion of both photographic and cultural conventions and can be enjoyed by a variety of audiences for both its subject matter and content. Those interested in material, visual, and popular culture; gender, identity, and equality; and photographic history will find this exhibition captivating.

George Eastman House’s exhibition The Gender Show will explore how photographs, from the mid-19th century to today, have portrayed gender – from archetypal to non-traditional to subversive representations – with a special emphasis on the performances that the act of photographing or being photographed can encourage or capture. The Gender Show, presenting over 200 works, draws primarily from the Eastman House collection, which spans more than 170 years, and also features contemporary art photographs and videos on loan from artists and private collectors. The exhibition will be on view from June 15 through October 13, 2013.

The Gender Show is the first major Eastman House exhibition organised under the direction of Dr. Bruce Barnes, who assumed the role of Ron and Donna Fielding Director last October. “This exhibition is an extraordinary survey of how photographers and their subjects have presented gender over the course of more than 150 years,” said Barnes. “George Eastman House is uniquely able to review the ever-changing cultural and social landscape through depictions of gender ranging from innocent assertion to elaborate masquerade.”

From the Eastman House collection are photographs by many of the biggest names in the history of the medium – including Julia Margaret Cameron, August Sander, Edward Steichen, Nickolas Muray, Brassaï, Robert Frank, Andy Warhol, Barbara Norfleet, Mary Ellen Mark, Cindy Sherman, and Chuck Samuels – as well as rarely seen vernacular photographs, in the form of cabinet cards depicting early vaudeville and music-hall stars. The exhibition will also present works by contemporary artists, including photographs by Janine Antoni, Rineke Dijkstra, Debbie Grossman, Catherine Opie, and Gillian Wearing, and videos by artists Jen DeNike, Kalup Linzy, and Martha Rosler.

“Since before Duchamp photographed Rrose Sélavy, his female alter-ego, artists have used photography to explore issues of identity, sex and gender,” said Barnes. “In recent decades, the artist’s identity and gender have been an increasingly prominent theme within photography. This exhibition offers a unique opportunity to see works by leading contemporary artists in the context of photographs from our world-class collection.”

Included in The Gender Show are tintypes and daguerreotypes by unknown artists; advertising images; self-portraits by artists, sometimes in disguise; and portraits of celebrities who in their time were a paragon of their own gender or of androgyny. Subjects include Sarah Bernhardt, Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Additional famous subjects presented in the show include Frida Kahlo, Auguste Rodin, Franklin Roosevelt with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin, and Andy Warhol.

Press release from the George Eastman House website

 

B. J. Falk (American, 1853-1925) 'Verona Jarbeau' c. 1885

 

B. J. Falk (American, 1853-1925)
Verona Jarbeau
c. 1885
Albumen print
Museum Collection

 

 

Cabinet card of 19th century burlesque artist Verona Jarbeau. Comedienne Verona Jarbeau dressed in masculine costume, and carrying a big stick.

 

Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary, 1892-1965) 'Gloria De Haven' 1947

 

Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary, 1892-1965)
Gloria De Haven
1947
Carbro print
Gift of Mrs. Nickolas Muray
© Nickolas Muray Archives

 

Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary, 1892-1965) 'Torso' c. 1927

 

Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary, 1892-1965)
Torso
c. 1927
Descriptive Title: Torso, Hubert Julian Stowitts
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Mrs. Nickolas Muray
© Nickolas Muray Archives

 

Lewis W. Hine (American, 1874-1940) 'Guiding a beam' From the series 'Empire State building' c. 1931

 

Lewis W. Hine (American, 1874-1940)
Guiding a beam
From the series Empire State building
c. 1931
Gelatin silver print
Transfer from Photo League Lewis Hine Memorial Committee
Ex-collection of Corydon Hine

 

Debbie Grossman. 'Jessie Evans-Whinery, homesteader, with her wife Edith Evans-Whinery and their baby' From the series 'My Pie Town'

 

Debbie Grossman
Jessie Evans-Whinery, homesteader, with her wife Edith Evans-Whinery and their baby
Nd
From the series My Pie Town
Collection of the Artist, courtesy of Julie Saul Gallery
© Debbie Grossman

 

 

Debbie Grossman’s series My Pie Town reworks and re-imagines a body of images of Pie Town, New Mexico, originally photographed by Russell Lee for the United States Farm Security Administration in 1940. Using Photoshop to modify Lee’s pictures, Debbie Grossman has created an imaginary, parallel world – a Pie Town populated exclusively by women.

 

Jessica Todd Harper (American, b. 1976) 'Self-Portrait With Christopher and My Future In-Laws' 2001, print 2013

 

Jessica Todd Harper (American, b. 1976)
Self-Portrait With Christopher and My Future In-Laws
2001, print 2013
Inkjet print
Gift of the photographer
© Jessica Todd Harper

 

Lejaren à Hiller (American, 1880-1969) 'Men posed in front of backdrop with ship' c. 1950

 

Lejaren à Hiller (American, 1880-1969)
Men posed in front of backdrop with ship
c. 1950
Carbro print
Gift of 3M Company, ex-collection Louis Walton Sipley
© Visual Studies Workshop

 

Melissa Ann Pinney (American, b. 1953) 'Bat Mitzvah Dance, Knickerbocker Hotel, Chicago' 1991, print 2003

 

Melissa Ann Pinney (American, b. 1953)
Bat Mitzvah Dance, Knickerbocker Hotel, Chicago
1991, print 2003
Chromogenic print
Gift of Richard S. Press
© Melissa Ann Pinney

 

Cig Harvey (British, b. 1973) 'Gingham Dress with Apple' c. 2003

 

Cig Harvey (British, b. 1973)
Gingham Dress with Apple
c. 2003
Chromogenic print
Gift of the photographer
© Cig Harvey

 

Victor Keppler (American, 1904-1987) 'Housewife in Kitchen' 1939

 

Victor Keppler (American, 1904-1987)
Housewife in Kitchen
1939
Digital Inkjet reproduction, 2012

 

Julia Margaret Cameron (British, 1815-1879) 'Ophelia Study No. 2' 1867

 

Julia Margaret Cameron (British, 1815-1879)
Ophelia Study No. 2
1867
Albumen print
Gift of Eastman Kodak Company
Ex-collection Gabriel Cromer

 

James Jowers (American, 1938-2009) 'New Orleans' 1970

 

James Jowers (American, 1938-2009)
New Orleans
1970
Gelatin silver print
Gift of the photographer
© George Eastman House

 

William Mortensen (American, 1897-1965) 'Preparing for the Sabbot' c. 1926

 

William Mortensen (American, 1897-1965)
Preparing for the Sabbot
c. 1926
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Dr. C.E.K. Mees

 

B. J. Falk (American, 1853-1925) 'Sandow' c. 1895

 

B. J. Falk (American, 1853-1925)
Sandow
c. 1895
Albumen print
Gift of Charles Carruth

 

Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden (German, 1856-1931) 'Youth with wreath on head' c. 1900

 

Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden (German, 1856-1931)
Youth with wreath on head
c. 1900
Albumen print
Anonymous gift

 

William Mortensen (American, 1897-1965) 'The Kiss' From the portfolio 'Pictorial Photography' c. 1930

 

William Mortensen (American, 1897-1965)
The Kiss
c. 1930
From the portfolio Pictorial Photography
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Dr. C.E.K. Mees

 

Anne Noggle (American, 1922-2005) 'Lois Hollingsworth Zilner, Woman Air force Service Pilot, WWII' 1984, print 1986

 

Anne Noggle (American, 1922-2005)
Lois Hollingsworth Zilner, Woman Air force Service Pilot, WWII
1984, print 1986
Gelatin silver print
Purchased with funds from Charina Foundation
© Anne Noggle

 

Edward Steichen (American, b. Luxembourg 1879-1973) 'Marlene Dietrich, The Teuton Siren' 1931

 

Edward Steichen (American, b. Luxembourg 1879-1973)
Marlene Dietrich, The Teuton Siren
1931
Gelatin silver contact print
Bequest of Edward Steichen by direction of Joanna T. Steichen
© Estate of Edward Steichen

 

Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary, 1892-1965) 'Marilyn Monroe .... Actress' 1952

 

Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary, 1892-1965)
Marilyn Monroe … Actress
1952
Carbro print
Gift of Michael Brooke Muray, Nickolas Christopher Muray, and Gustav Schwab
© Nickolas Muray Archives

 

 

George Eastman House
900 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607

Opening hours:
Tues – Sat 10am – 5pm
Sunday 11am – 5pm

George Eastman House website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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