‘Queer Gaze’ photography exhibition at Fontanelle


Work by Amos Mac

Every Women’s Studies 101 class had to read that Laura Mulvey article on the cinematic “male gaze” which described voyeurism and objectification of a female by a heterosexual male viewer. And then Cindy Sherman turned the theory of the gaze on its ear with her “Untitled Film Stills” and other eclectic self-portraiture.

Now Queer Gaze opening Thursday at Fontanelle Gallery (205 SW Pine) aims to explore the gaze from woman to woman or queer to queer, as well as the way that many photographers use their own visage or that of their friends to subvert traditional expectations of portraiture.

The act of taking ownership of one’s own identity and personal beliefs and how these beliefs are enacted in the public realm is a political act that helps shape modern feminism. Here we present a collection of perspectives and experiences that will be at once informative and titillating, while also empowering.

Feminist photographers exploring the theory of male gaze have often turned the camera on themselves, demanding that viewers take notice of their role of dominance in how they are presented and viewed. By utilizing elements of masquerade, role-playing and societal commentary as devices to investigate identity through self-portraiture, many photographers are able to explore their own personal politics. Clearly, the issue of self-representation is not restricted to literal self-portraiture. The issue is not what one looks like, but how and by whom one is represented.

Exhibiting artists include Sarah Baley (Brooklyn), Erica Beckman (Brooklyn), Tammy Rae Carland (Oakland), Zackary Drucker (LA) & A.L. Steiner (Brooklyn), Luke Gilford (LA), Grit Hachmeister (Berlin), Megan Holmes (PDX), Angela Jimenez (Brooklyn), Molly Landreth (Seattle), Amos Mac (San Francisco), Finn Paul (PDX), Emily Roysdon (NYC/Stockholm), Lorenzo Triburgo (PDX), and Azsa West (PDX).

Thursday’s opening reception, beginning at 6pm, will be followed by the rock of Play/Start and other local queer bands.

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