Masculinities




A powerful and thought-provoking exhibition that will have you questioning what masculinity means.






     ︎ Have you ever thought about what it means to be a man? Simone de Beauvoir’s famous declaration that ‘one is not born a woman, but rather becomes one’ provides a helpful springboard for considering what it means to be a male in today’s world.

Currently displayed in the Barbican Centre, London, "Masculinities" tries to respond to this question and many more, leading you on a visual journey through male identities.

I was very excited to see this exhibition because it brings together some of my all-time favourite photographers. When we look back at the pictures of many of the most influential photographers and filmmakers in the last 50 years, we realize that contemporary masculinity has been formed by a seemingly random collection of codes and stereotypes, evolving not only with the passing of time, but also influenced by religion and race.

Curated by Alona Pardo, the exhibition is divided into seven different sections, examining the ideas of power, patriarchy, queer identity, female perceptions of men, hypermasculine stereotypes, tenderness and the family.

Along the different rooms, you will find displayed works by iconic photographers as Wolfgang Tillmans, Robert Mapplethorpe, Rineke Dijkstra, Richard Avedon, Karen Knorr, Masahisa Fukase, Karlheinz Weinberger, Samuel Fosso, Andy Warhol, Duane Michals, Peter Marlow or Ana Mendieta. With such an illustrius line-up, I wasn’t surprised by how busy the exhibition was.

If you have never visited the Barbican Centre, this is an extraordinary opportunity to discover not only a gem of the brutalist architectural movement, but also its incredible art galleries. I consider it a second home, as I am often here teaching some of my workshops.

I felt the thoughtful design of the exhibition, really helped the visitor to understand the complex range of ideas on display.

I highly recommend taking your time with this one, as the quantity and quality of the work is incredible.

"Masculinities" is, without a doubt, a game-changer of a show that deserves a visit. Catch it if you can.








Mark
© Nacho Rivera | 2020