On now until February 19 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, She Photographs encourages its audience to consider the role of contemporary photography from a female perspective. “Photography is today an intrinsic part of our social fabric,” curator Diane Charbonneau stated in a press release for She Photographs. “The exhibition invites a pause, a special moment for reflection on the images made by women whose works give a contemporary view of our world.”
The museum has been actively cultivating their photography collection since 2000, and now proudly unveils 70 works by female artists across North America. Although the exhibit presents work of a single medium, She Photographs tests the camera’s boundaries through techniques such as blurred effects and composite images, as well as traditional processes like pinhole photography. Technology, of course, is only one of the exhibit’s explored approaches.
“The intention of the exhibition is to show different feminine viewpoints,” says Charbonneau. Ideas of beauty and identity are presented through a variety of deliberate stagings seen from the female gaze: portraits, self-portraits, nudes, a lone figure, female paired with female, female and male. Charbonneau notes that the exhibit came about as a “feminine echo” of the museum’s current Robert Mapplethorpe retrospective, exploring similar themes “while posing further questions regarding these concerns [of gender, race, and sexuality].”
The results are varied, though consistently intimate. In viewing She Photographs, one grasps a sense of femininity as defined by the artists behind the lens.
She Photographs will run at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1380 Sherbrook Street Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1J5, 514-285-2000, until February 19, 2017.