The Apartment is pleased to announce an exhibition of new photographic work by Caroline May. The exhibition opens on Wednesday, November 10 and will be on view through January 8, 2011.
Caroline May’s work explores issues of identity, sexuality and desire in relation to the photographic medium. For a number of years, the artist has been taking pictures of men, mostly hustlers, in crusing parks in London and New York. Those photographs were not staged and to a large extent they were the result of the artist’s relationship with her subjects. Crude and tender at the same time, May’s post-feminist gaze focused on the customary re-enactment of stereotypes of masculinity. The premise of these works was that masculinity is a cultural construction perpetuated through stylized acts in time.
‘In the course of these photo-sessions, the models have often resolved to a ‘performed heterosexual’ stereotypical behavior that has prompted me to further explore how identity is shaped through specific, uncontested language and imagery. In this sense, my work explores the notion of ‘fixed identity’ as it is understood in a white, heterosexual hegemonic culture. My practice addresses expectations about gender and sexuality, but mainly calls into question the canon that implements personal and social behavior.’ Caroline May
Her new series continues her exploration of masculinity and heterosexual desire in male bodies, as well as the divide between appearing and being. The exhibition includes portraits, landscapes and still lives. The portrait of a man is a critical comment on established notions of beauty and desire reproduced through photography. By presenting something as real, photography is essentially iterating culturally constructed images of gender, sexuality and desire. The artist expands her subject matter to reflect concerns on collective consciousness and underline the tension between the public and private realm.
The River Party (2010) is an elegiac landscape reminiscent of 17th century landscape painting as well as of the early modernism of Monet. Deceptively serene, The River Party (2010) is a site of rave party. It is a site of transgression and release. A critical view of the photographic medium is also perceptible in the other large-scale landscape photographs. Shot in Peloponese, they arrest the passage of time and address the recontextualization of meaning in photographic practice.
Caroline May (b.1975) currently lives and works in Athens, Greece. Her work was recently included in a group exhibition, curated by Michel Auder, at Newman Popiashvili Gallery in New York, NY. Past museum exhibitions include Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London (2007), Heterotopias:The 1st Thessaloniki Biennale, Greece (2007), Crossing the Borders, Greek State Museum Thessaloniki, Greece (2006), Identities and their Topographies, Centre of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain (2006). In 2011, the artist will have a solo exhibition at the Freud Museum, London, UK.
November 10 - January 8, 2011
Place: Ithakis 29A Athens
Visiting Hours: Wens- Fri 17:00- 20:00, Saturday : 12:00-17:00