Martha Wilson wants to know what you think

There is a lot going on right now in the UMFA, and a lot of this happens to be located in the modern and contemporary art galleries (check out our upcoming exhibitions). This opens up a chance for discussion about modern and contemporary art, and we hope to use our social media for the month of August (and on into September) to interact. We’re beginning here, with our latest installation in the modern and contemporary art galleries featuring some stunning photography:

"Woman with String." Garry Winogrand (1928-1984) American.

“Woman with String.” Garry Winogrand (1928-1984) American.

This very exciting photography is inspiring a dialogue that we hope continues right here, in the comment section of this blog. So, let’s talk about it: photography and The Gaze.

“The Gaze” is a term made popular by Jacques Lacan, and refers in part to the anxiety that arises when we realize we can be viewed by others. All of us, Lacan says, lose a sense of freedom once we realize we are visible objects.

Great thinkers have expanded on this idea: Foucault considered the “medical gaze,” and power dynamics between doctor and patient that occur during the process of diagnosis, while Laura Mulvey was concerned with the “male gaze” and the dominance of the heterosexual male perspective when viewing the world (and, perhaps especially, the feminine).

Check out this slideshow featuring the photography of Helen Levitt (1913-2009) and Gary Winogrand (1928-1984), up now in our galleries.  Looking at this exhibition with the concept of the gaze in mind, the subjects of these photographs become keenly observed (or, gazed upon).

Tell us in the comments below: How do you feel about the difference between the gaze of these two photographers?

Considering all of this: who would want to photograph YOU, and why?

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