Masculinities

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CULTURE & LIFESTYLES

Masculinities

Putting manhood under the microscope in this partnership with the Barbican

The works of over 50 pioneering international artists have been brought together to deconstruct how masculinity is coded, performed and socially constructed in Masculinities: Liberation through Photography, a new exhibition from the Barbican—London’s leading arts institution. 

The show features Richard Billingham’s revealing images of his emaciated, alcoholic father; Catherine Opie’s portrait series Being and Having, where her friends sport false mustaches, tattoos and other hyper-masculine signifiers; Richard Mosse’s 2007 film Fraternity, which examines privileged, white, male rage; and others, including internationally-acclaimed photographer Wolfgang Tillmans and Turner Prize-winning Jeremy Deller.

Karlheinz Weinberger:
Horseshoe Buckle, 1962
© Karlheinz Weinberger. Courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff

Karlheinz Weinberger: Horseshoe Buckle, 1962 © Karlheinz Weinberger. Courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff

Rotimi Fani-Kayode,
Untitled, 1985
© Rotimi Fani-Kayode
Courtesy of Autograph, London

Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Untitled, 1985 © Rotimi Fani-Kayode Courtesy of Autograph, London

Catherine Opie, Bo from “Being and Having”, 1991
Collection of Gregory R. Miller and Michael Wiener
© Catherine Opie, Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Thomas Dane Gallery, London; and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Catherine Opie, Bo from “Being and Having”, 1991 Collection of Gregory R. Miller and Michael Wiener © Catherine Opie, Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Thomas Dane Gallery, London; and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Peter Hujar: David Brintzenhofe Applying Makeup (II), 1982
© 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive LLC;
Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Peter Hujar: David Brintzenhofe Applying Makeup (II), 1982 © 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive LLC; Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Thomas Dworzak: Taliban portrait. Kandahar, Afghanistan. 2002.
© Collection T. Dworzak/Magnum Photos

Thomas Dworzak: Taliban portrait. Kandahar, Afghanistan. 2002. © Collection T. Dworzak/Magnum Photos

Sam Contis: Untitled (Neck), 2015 © Sam Contis

Sam Contis: Untitled (Neck), 2015 © Sam Contis

Masahisa Fukase: Upper row, from left to right: A, a model; Toshiteru, Sukezo, Masahisa. Middle row, from left to right: Akiko, Mitsue, Hisashi Daikoji. Bottom row, from left to right: Gaku, Kyoko, Kanako, and a memorial portrait of Miyako, 1985, from the series Family, 1971-90 © Masahisa Fukase Archives

Masahisa Fukase: Upper row, from left to right: A, a model; Toshiteru, Sukezo, Masahisa. Middle row, from left to right: Akiko, Mitsue, Hisashi Daikoji. Bottom row, from left to right: Gaku, Kyoko, Kanako, and a memorial portrait of Miyako, 1985, from the series Family, 1971-90 © Masahisa Fukase Archives

Karen Knorr:
Newspapers are no longer ironed, Coins no longer boiled So far have Standards fallen from the series Gentlemen, 1981-83
Tate: Gift Eric and Louise Franck London Collection 2013
© Karen Knorr

Karen Knorr: Newspapers are no longer ironed, Coins no longer boiled So far have Standards fallen from the series Gentlemen, 1981-83 Tate: Gift Eric and Louise Franck London Collection 2013 © Karen Knorr

Sunil Gupta:
Untitled 22 from the series Christopher Street, 1976
Courtesy the artist and Hales Gallery.
© Sunil Gupta. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2019

Sunil Gupta: Untitled 22 from the series Christopher Street, 1976 Courtesy the artist and Hales Gallery. © Sunil Gupta. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2019

Adi Nes: Untitled, from the series Soldiers, 1999
Courtesy Adi Nes & Praz-Delavallade Paris, Los Angeles

Adi Nes: Untitled, from the series Soldiers, 1999 Courtesy Adi Nes & Praz-Delavallade Paris, Los Angeles

Hal Fischer: Street Fashion: Jock from the series Gay Semiotics, 1977/2016 Courtesy of the artist and Project Native Informant London

Hal Fischer: Street Fashion: Jock from the series Gay Semiotics, 1977/2016 Courtesy of the artist and Project Native Informant London

Karlheinz Weinberger:
Horseshoe Buckle, 1962
© Karlheinz Weinberger. Courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff

Karlheinz Weinberger: Horseshoe Buckle, 1962 © Karlheinz Weinberger. Courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff

Rotimi Fani-Kayode,
Untitled, 1985
© Rotimi Fani-Kayode
Courtesy of Autograph, London

Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Untitled, 1985 © Rotimi Fani-Kayode Courtesy of Autograph, London

In this film commissioned by the Barbican, NOWNESS creative director and filmmaker Bunny Kinney borrows from the exhibition’s themes to create a playful, pastel-hued, talking-heads film exploring gender roles, patriarchy and hegemonic masculinity.

“The concept was simple: to create a living document of ‘masculinity now’ embodied by a vibrant array of individuals,” says Kinney, who interviewed 16 people whose identities span the spectrum of masculinity. “Each person featured has a different relationship to their own sense of masculinity and what that even means to them.”

“A living document of ‘masculinity now’”

Masculinities brings together members of the British public with NOWNESS’s creative community to deconstruct gender identity in its myriad forms. The cast includes non-binary designer Harris Reed, choreographer Ivan Blackstock, poet Julian Knox, and photographer and filmmaker Campbell Addy.

“Inspired by the photographers featured in the Barbican exhibition, the film is shot in a deliberately lo-fi and uncomplicated, observational manner,” Kinney continues. “It’s just a camera, a person and a pink void. We simply asked them to walk on and show us who they are, what they think, and how they move. Perhaps one day, people might look back at these films and interviews as an interesting representation of the changing face of masculinity in the year 2020.”

Masculinities: Liberation Through Photography (20 Feb – 17 May) is currently closed due to the global outbreak of Covid-19
March 30, 2020

EDITORS

Georgia RoseKatie Metcalfe

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