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Online Masterclass

Contemporary Photography and Masculinity with Alona Pardo on Vimeo on Demand

Curator Alona Pardo delivers a masterclass examining the representation of masculinity through contemporary photography. She explores the varieties of representation, from heteronormative masculinity and female masculinity to marginalised and queer masculinities, and more.

Building on her recent exhibition Masculinities: Liberation through Photography, Pardo asks among other questions: how does hegemonic masculinity perform itself and by extension who does it exclude? By looking at the work of artists including Hank Willis Thomas, Sunil Gupta, Catherine Opie, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Elle Pérez, Sam Contis, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Cassils, Karen Knorr, Clare Strand and Liz Johnson Artur, in conjunction with texts by James Baldwin, Judith Butler, Jack Halberstam, Paul Preciado, R.W. Connell and bell hooks, Pardo looks at how photography has been both a political tool to reinforce heteropatriarchal dominance, while also being an agent of resistance and change.

Alona Pardo is a senior curator at Barbican Art Gallery, London, with a focus on photography and film. Recent exhibitions and publications include Masculinities: Liberation through Photography (2020); Trevor Paglen: From ‘Apple’ to ‘Anomaly’ (2019); Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins (2018), Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds (2018), Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing (2018), and Richard Mosse: Incoming (2017).

Watch on Vimeo on Demand

© Peter Hujar, Daniel Schook Sucking Toe (close-up), 1981


Topics covered in class:

A – Books

bell hooks – We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity (Routledge, 2003).
Michael Kimmel – Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era (New York: Bold Type Books, 2013).
Jean Bobby Noble – Masculinities without Men?: Female Masculinity in Twentieth-Century Fictions (UBC Press, 2004).
Rowena Chapman and John Rutherford (eds.) – Male Order: Unwrapping Masculinity (Lawrence & Wishart, 1987).
Judith Butler – Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (Routledge, 2006).
R. W. Connell – Masculinities (Polity, 2005).
Michael Kimmel – Manhood in America: A Cultural History (Oxford University Press, 2011).
Thelma Golden – Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art (Whitney Abrams, 1994).
Judith Halberstam – Female Masculinity (Duke University of Press, 1998).
Robert Bly – Iron John: A Book About Men (Da Capo Press, 2015).
Jordan B. Peterson – 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (Penguin, 2019).
Bruce Feirstein – Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche: A Guidebook to All That is Truly Masculine (Pocket Books, 1982).
Andrew Moisey – The American Fraternity: An Illustrated Ritual Manual (Daylight Books, 2018).

B – Article/Magazines

James Baldwin – Here Be Dragons, or Freaks and the American Ideal of Manhood (Playboy, January, 1985).

Pankaj Mishra -The crisis in modern masculinity (The Guardian, 17 March 2018).

C – Videos

We Believe: The Best Men Can Be (Gilettte Advert)

Jordan Peterson on the ‘backlash against masculinity’ – BBC News

Isaac Julien: Looking for Langston (excerpt)

D – Artists

Richard Prince
John Coplans
Herb Ritts
Adi Nes
Wolfgang Tillmans
Thomas Dworzak
Catherine Opie
Rineke Dijkstra
Sam Contis
Robert Mapplethorpe
Karen Knorr
Clare Strand
Richard Billingham
Masahisa Fukase
Hans Eijkelboom, With My Family
Anna Fox
Kalen Na’il Roach
Peter Hujar
David Wojnarowicz
George Dureau
Sunil Gupta
Hal Fischer
Isaac Julien
Rotimi Fani-Kayode
Paul Mpagi Sepuya
Elle Pérez
Hank Willis Thomas
Deana Lawson
Marianne Wex
Laurie Anderson
Ana Mendieta

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