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Masculinities

Masculinities

Masculinities

Alona Pardo

Until mid January the exhibition Masculinities – Liberation through Photography is shown at the Gropius Bau in Berlin. Having previously been presented at the Barbican in London, Berlin is the second city to have the pleasure of this celebrated exhibition, that explores how masculinity is experienced, performed, and codified in photography and film from the 1960s to the present. Given the plurality of subversive masculinities that have emerged since the 1960s and the resilience of certain forms of traditional ultra-male power this is an ambitious undertaking. The accompanying comprehensive publication is no less committed. From disrupting the archetype with found photographs of Taliban fighters holding softly hands surrounded by arrangements of flowers; to fatherhood with an incredible, unsettling piece by Anna Fox. Photographs of her mothers tidy cupboards filled with pink china and rose tinted glasses are juxtaposed with violent quotes from her father like “I’m going to tear your mother to shreds with an oyster knife”, Masculinities draws wide circles to prove its point, that what makes a man a man is more complex than even Aznavour could imagine in his groundbreaking song from 1972. This exhibition and book will make you think again about the meanings of maleness in a increasingly unsettling world where we experiencing the rise of more and more alt-right groups looking for a so called “strong man” as a leader. So let us take the word “liberation” in the title literally and free ourselves from the clichés and always the same images and realise that masculinity is a social construct!⁠

 

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Category & Tags: Review, Books, Culture & Society, Photography, feminism, lgbtq, men, society