THE UNFLINCHING GAZE Exhibition Comes to BRAG
Two hundred photos and videos by sixty two leading LGBTI artists (twenty four Australian and thirty eight international) will be exhibited at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) from Saturday 14 October until Sunday 3 December 2017.
The Hon. Don Harwin, MLC, Minister for the Arts in the NSW Government will open the exhibition on Saturday October 14 at 6pm.
This is the first major Australian photo media exhibition in which the vast majority of artists identify as LGBTI. The only gay and lesbian art museum in the world, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York, have loaned 60 works for the exhibition by some of America's most influential photographers.
Curated by Richard Perram OAM, Director of BRAG, an openly gay man, the line-up includes art and fashion photography, music videos, mainstream popular and homoerotic. "Images range from the beautiful to the banal to the confounding."
Five works by Robert Mapplethorpe feature in the exhibition, including his notorious self-portrait with whip from his X folio. Other Mapplethorpe images include porn star Frank Vickers in women's underwear and a nude study of albino Robert Sherman. Another iconic American artist amongst the line-up is the US avant-garde theatre director Robert Wilson with his video portrait of Brad Pitt.
Other key artists to be included are American artists George Platt Lynes and Bruce Weber, Australian artists Tony Albert and Deborah Kelly and historic European artists Eadweard Muybridge and Baron Wilhelm Von Gloeden. BRAG has also commissioned new work by Sydney-based artists Owen Leong and Liam Benson.
Many poignant subjects will be covered. There is a section on the Pink Triangle which deals with the persecution, torture and genocide of homosexuals in concentration camps during World War II to those in Chechyna today. Another section deals with the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, and how the male figure was interpreted with works by Australian artists William Yang and Brenton Heath Kerr.
Film is integral to the exhibition and includes Jean Genet's Un Chant d'Amour (1950); and Andy Warhol's Blow Job (1964) Another area which will be investigated is how men perceive and represent themselves, through self-portraiture, costume, performance, music and fashion.
LEADING QUEER ART AUTHORITIES TO SPEAK AT SYMPOSIA AT UTS AND BRAG
Leading international and Australian artists, academics and curators who identify as LGBTI will address issues around "queer" curation.
• Clare Barlow: Curator of Queer British Art 1861-1967 Tate Britain;
• Dr Pawel Leskowicz: Polish academic & curator contemporary LGBTI visual culture;
• Mr Bill Zewadski: an American collector of male photography and philanthropist;
• Branden Wallace: Registrar of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York
BRAG, in conjunction with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), will be holding two symposia in conjunction with The Unflinching Gaze. Both will be open to the general public with the first being held in Bathurst on Saturday, 14 October and the second in Sydney on Wednesday, 18 October.
BRAG is working with local LGBTI Bathurst community groups including WAGALS (Western Area Gay and Lesbian Society), headspace Bathurst and the AIDS Council to ensure that one of the most important outcomes of The Unflinching Gaze: photo media and the male figure will be strategies that inform and educate the Bathurst general community and support and affirm the Bathurst LGBTI community.
Additionally it is well documented that while most LGBTI Australians live healthy, happy lives, a disproportionate number experience worse health outcomes than their non-LGBTI peers, particularly in the areas of mental health & suicide. These statistics are even higher for regional LGBTI youth and adults who still face continuing discrimination and exclusion by their communities.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a substantial illustrated catalogue with essays by Richard Perram OAM, Professor Peter McNeill and Dr Christine Dean.
BATHURST REGIONAL ART GALLERY 70-78 Keppel St Bathurst 02 6333 6555
Open: Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sunday 11am - 2pm, public holidays excluding
The Unflinching Gaze: photo media and the male figure is a Bathurst Regional Art Gallery exhibition in partnership with Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York. Curated by Richard Perram OAM. This exhibition is supported by the Dobell Exhibition Grant, funded by the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation and managed by Museums & Galleries of NSW.
Photo: OWEN LEONG Milkteeth 2014, archival pigment print on cotton paper. edition of 5 + 2AP, 120 x 120cm. Courtesy the artist and Artereal Gallery, Sydney