Masculinities

Liberation through Photography

A black and white photograph, a person walking on a road with their hands in their pockets. Sunil Gupta's Christopher Street

Through the medium of film and photography, this major exhibition considers how masculinity has been coded, performed, and socially constructed from the 1960s to the present day.

Examining depictions of masculinity from behind the lens, the Barbican brings together the work of over 50 international artists, photographers and filmmakers including Laurie Anderson, Sunil Gupta, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Isaac Julien and Catherine Opie.

In the wake of #MeToo the image of masculinity has come into sharper focus, with ideas of toxic and fragile masculinity permeating today’s society. This exhibition charts the often complex and sometimes contradictory representations of masculinities, and how they have developed and evolved over time. Touching on themes including power, patriarchy, queer identity, female perceptions of men, hypermasculine stereotypes, tenderness and the family, the exhibition shows how central photography and film have been to the way masculinities are imagined and understood in contemporary culture.

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A year exploring the relationship between our inner lives and creativity.

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