Today I went to see the exhibition of photographer Annie Leibovitz, Women: New Portraits. I know her name and some of her pictures and therefor thought it might be quite interesting to go and see the exhibition. I honestly didn’t quite know what to expect.
Well, first of all I didn’t expect to queue for almost one hour. But well, this can be easily excused as a rookie mistake, as it was Saturday afternoon and to it the last weekend the exhibition was shown in London. So when I finally got in, I was basically frozen, but eager to see what it was all about.
One of the walls showed portraits of influential and renowned women, each photographed in a different manner. But in-between the prints were blank spaces, somehow leaving room for expansion, additions and maybe for you to be up there with them. A nice twist, I think.
Further there were big screens, showing portraits of famous women, posing or in ‘random’ shots; but also portraits of normal, average and everyday-women going about their normal lives and jobs. And between all those pictures of different-as-can-be women, snapshots of artefacts of femininity or the ‘composed picture of women’: shoes, dresses, make-up.
Unfortunately it was really crowded and hard be taken in fully. But as much as I saw, I loved it! For me it represented a critic way to show the role of women in society and what being a women actually comprises; or at least some of it.
here are some impressions:
Whatever the medium – photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures – people are almost always portrayed as “masculine” or “feminine”, different and unequal. Yet in every country of the world, there is a growing movement agains this gender inequality.
Annie Leibovitz is and always has been a pioneer of this movement. […] She is able to portray each woman as fully human and unique.
In this exhibit, we have the gift of seeing through her eyes.
And this is a big gift. We begin to understand what we have been missing in religious imagery and advertising, museums and movies, pornography and erotica; all those ways of limiting females so we fit into gender binary. […]
An Invitation to the exhibition by Gloria Steinhem, American feminist, journalist and social and political activist.