CALL FOR ARTISTS
Theme: Gender Performance
Deadline: 28 May 2017
Curated by Brigid Cara Reid
The London Photography Diary is excited to announce it is seeking entries on the theme on gender performance (title TBD) to be presented at Carmel by the Green in East London. It will also be the culmination of The Photography Diaries year long series of independently curated shows.
“We act as if that being of a man or that being of a woman is actually an internal reality or something that is simply true about us, a fact about us, but actually it’s a phenomenon that is being produced all the time and reproduced all the time, so to say gender is performative is to say that nobody really is a gender from the start.”
― Judith Butler
The assumption that the quality of ‘maleness’ or ‘femaleness’ is innate within us has a long social history. Its repercussions are vast, going on to delimit our very behaviours, manner of expression and sense of self. The Twentieth Century has seen this concept progressively challenged, with numerous philosophers, scientists, historians and artists theorising the socially constructed nature of gender. Not only has gender’s ‘essentializing’ nature been contested, but it has been shown to be far more fluid and plural than previously thought, with feminine and masculine norms differing across time and place.
From the vantage point of our contemporary society in 2017, the notion of gender appears set to implode; in part due to radical cultural and intellectual shifts. Despite this however, harmful stereotypes persist with damaging consequences. Traditional gender profiles cultivate a culture of discrimination. They disempower women and girls and aid in the development of depression in men and boys. Individuals who violate these gender codes are often marginalised, facing adversity, hostility and violence.
Interrogating these prejudices, images can be a powerful tool in dismantling the structures of fear and oppression that enforce the socio-cultural policing of gender. They can deconstruct and reveal the performative nature of our identities, and engage us in a liberating and playful exploration of the gender paradigm.
The London Photography Diary invites international artists to submit work on the theme of gender performance that celebrates and explores the complexities of gender. We welcome artists working across all genres of photography, including but not limited to, documentary photography, narrative photography, photo-portraiture and conceptual work.