"Beauty" is a loaded, complicated, and occasionally so-overused-it's-neutralized term in photography and beyond. A quick Google search turns up everything from On Beauty, Zadie Smith's 2005 novel, to Robert Adams' classic photography book of the same title. A likely first thought for fellow visual literacy junkies might be the ever-present "male gaze" -- the idea, described by John Berger and officially coined by Laura Mulvey decades ago-- that every aspect of visual media and history has been filtered through a heterosexual male lens. While our thoughts bounce from slick, and often damaging fashion campaigns to countless cinematic tropes, they also toggle between hackneyed photographs of sunsets and flowers, and early ennobled American landscape photographs that fueled Manifest Destiny. Idealization at its imagined finest.
Where are we going with this?
For Group Show # 53: On Beauty we'd like to see photographs, gifs, photo-based collage and a range of other light-sensitive media that address and dissect how beauty is represented and understood. How has rapidly shifting image-culture influenced our perceptions of the visual ideal? Like most of our open calls, the conceptual guidelines are open to interpretation. We invite you to get crazy, think outside expectation, and subvert our minds.
We're excited to welcome one of our favorite writers and curators Roula Seikaly to co-curate the exhibition with Humble's co-founder Jon Feinstein.