Sexual Difference: Both Sides of the Camera

Sexual Difference: Both Sides of the Camera, curated by Abigail Solomon-Godeau, the photography critic and historian, is an exhibition of approximately 80 photographic works by 20 artists.

Abigail Solomon-Godeau originally organized this exhibition for the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art in Buffalo in early 1987. For the presentation at the Wallach Art Gallery, the curator has expanded the exhibition considerably, adding new works and several new artists. Among the artists in this exhibition are Imogen Cunningham, Baron von Gloeden, Sarah Charlesworth, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Martha Rosler, Jo Spence, and Francesca Woodman.

Sexual Difference: Both sides of the Camera considers what—if anything—changes when it is a woman who wields the camera. The exhibition is organized around two themes: Subject Positioning and the Erotics of Looking, and Critical Interventions. In the first section of the exhibit, Solomon-Godeau has brought together very different kinds of photographic work from earlier in the 20th century to the present, in order to consider the proposition that masculinity and femininity (understood as social and cultural constructions) are produced as a result of subject positioning. not simply because of biological gender. In the section entitled "Critical Interventions," the curator proposes that a critical intervention takes place whenever anyone takes a photograph of another person. A second approach to this theme is demonstrated in work that confronts conventionalized representations of sexual difference in high art, mass media, and advertising. the works selected for the exhibition are characterized by their attempt either to deconstruct, demystify, or dismantle such conventions.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 12-page catalogue with an essay by the curator and a checklist.