Gentlemen included in Masculinities
Les Rencontres d’Arles
4 July–26 September
The major touring group exhibition Masculinities, curated by Alona Pardo, will open next week at La Mécanique Général as part of the annual photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles in the south of France. Included in the exhibition is the entirety of Karen Knorr’s photographic work Gentlemen (1981-1983) which was photographed in English gentlemen’s clubs in Saint James’ in central London and considers the patriarchal values of the English upper middle classes with text constructed out of speeches of parliament and news. All 26 photographs that make up the series will be displayed, the first time this has happened in France since the work was debuted in Paris at Samia Saouma’s gallery La Remise du Parc in 1983.
Through the medium of film and photography, this major exhibition considers how masculinity has been coded, performed, and socially constructed from the 1960s to the present day. Examining depictions of masculinity from behind the lens, the exhibition brings together the work of over 50 international artists, photographers and filmmakers including Laurie Anderson, Karen Knorr, Sunil Gupta, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Isaac Julien and Catherine Opie.
In the wake of #MeToo, the image of masculinity has come into sharper focus, with ideas of toxic and fragile masculinity permeating today’s society. This exhibition charts the often complex and sometimes contradictory representations of masculinities, and how they have developed and evolved over time. Touching on themes including power, patriarchy, queer identity, racial politics, female perceptions of men, hypermasculine stereotypes, tenderness and the family, the exhibition examines the critical role photography and film have played in the way masculinities are imagined and understood in contemporary culture.
Full details can be found on the Rencontres d’Arles website.