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Curator Tour - Masculinities: Liberation through Photography

Woman looking at a wall filled with photographs
20 Jul 2020
40 min watch

Take a walk around our Masculinities exhibition in a full length tour with Barbican curator, Alona Pardo.

In this full-length tour, you'll be guided through the Barbican Art Gallery and learn more about masculinity in its many forms through a range of photographs as we ask: what does it mean to be a man today? 

Soldiers and bullfighters, bodybuilders and cruisers, fathers and sons, performers and politicians - we'll explore the work of photographers from around the world including Adi Nes, Peter Hujar, Catherine Opie, Robert Mapplethorpe, Hank Willis Thomas, Laurie Anderson and Ana Mendieta. 

Explore our Masculinities collection

We put manhood under the microscope in a series of videos, articles, playlists and podcasts.

Exhibition Chapters

00:15 Introduction - Barbican Curator Alona Pardo introduces the idea behind Masculinities and the striking work by John Coplans that welcomes you into the gallery.

03:50 Disrupting the Archetype - Exploring how artists overturn the usual representations of masculinity, we look at the work of photographers Adi Nes, Collier Schorr, Catherine Opie, Rineke Dijkstra and Robert Mapplethorpe.

11:47 Male Order: Power, Patriarchy and Space - Reflecting on the construction of male power, gender and class, here we look closer at the work of Richard Avedon and Karen Knorr.

16:38 Too Close to Home: Family and Fatherhood - Looking at the complexities of family life and fatherhood, we explore three photo series by Hans Eijkelboom, Aneta Bartos and Kalen Na’il Roach.

22:30 Queering Masculinity - Working in defiance of the expected gender norms of the time, we explore the queer culture captured in the work of Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz, Hal Fischer, Sunil Gupta, Rotimi Fani-Kayode and Elle Pérez.

32:21 Reclaiming the Black Body - Giving form to the black male experience, we learn more about Samuel Fosso and Hank Willis Thomas' work.

37:02 Women on Men: Reversing the Male Gaze - In the final section, we look at how the second-wave feminist movement and feminist art tried to expose idea of masculinity, notably in the work of Laurie Anderson, Marianne Wex and Ana Mendieta.

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