Curator Efrem Zelony-Mindell’s upcoming book – which we think you should help fund through Kickstarter– uses the work of more than sixty photo-based artists to challenge conventional notions of gender studies.
If you’re reverse-woke-ly scratching your head at this headline, Zelony-Mindell’s book, n e w f l e s h, to be published by Gnomic Books later this year (if funded,) may keep you itchy. A good kind of itch, one that will hopefully encourage you to pause and look deep and figure out what makes you so uncomfortable, while reading some solid accompanying essays by Charlotte Cotton and Ashley McNelis.
Or it might just make you curious about how photography might respond to, or illustrate this question.
The idea of “queering" has taken on a renewed meaning and examination in the past few years. Stemming from Queer Theory, it’s been reclaimed from the homophobic slur of years past to rethinking common understandings of what’s considered “normal” – whether that’s rooted in sexuality or sexual identity, or learned ways of looking at and seeing the world.
It is here where editor Zelony-Mindell jumps off to reimagine how the body can break free from the gazes which have objectified it throughout visual history. What brings his vast selection of artists together is their abstraction of the human form, which he sees as a form of liberation. “These images force us to look beyond the familiar,” he writes, “so that we may see them for what they could become.”
Midway through the book’s urgent and soon-to-expire Kickstarter fundraising campaign, I spoke with Zelony Mindell to dig a bit deeper into his ideas, and why you should help support this publication.
Jon Feinstein in conversation with Efrem Zelony-Mindell