Seeing and Being Seen: Photography from the Loeb in Honor of the First Vassar Pride

When: April 8 through August 28
Hoene Hoy Photography Gallery

A person with dark hair and a baseball cap looks at the viewer, arms folded.
Zanele Muholi (South African, born 1972), Anele 'Anza' Khaba, KwaThema Community Hall, Springs, Johannesburg, 2011, Gelatin silver print, Purchase, Advisory Council for Photography, 2013.15.

Organized in collaboration with a committee of current Vassar students, this exhibition honors the inaugural celebration of Vassar Pride with a selection of photographs from the Loeb’s collection. While Pride celebrations have taken many forms, they share a recognition of the importance of LGBTQ+ visibility, both individual and collective. This exhibition demonstrates the power and complexities of seeing and being seen through photography. Including photographs by Mariette Pathy Allen, Martine Gutierrez, Peter Hujar, Joel Meyerowitz, Zanele Muholi, and Mickalene Thomas, this exhibition explores the power of visibility through portrait photography. In their work, queerness intersects with Indigenous, Black, gender nonconforming, transgender, and intergenerational identities. As sites of agency, these photographs embed intimate exchanges between photographers, subjects, and viewers and sometimes highlight tensions between artifice and authenticity. Zanele Muholi, who photographs people outdoors, summarizes the power of visibility: “I like open air, because that’s how we claim the public spaces, the mainstream spaces.”

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