A display of rarely-seen works from an American collection dedicated to female artists.
The concept of the 'male gaze' was first introduced by feminist writer Laura Mulvey in 1975, who argued that visual art depicts the world from a masculine point of view, presenting women as objects of pleasure. This influential theory – publicised in the decade when second wave feminists were calling for a change to sexist power structures – has forced a reexamination of how women are represented in art.
This display sees women take control of the camera, turning the lens on themselves and others. The female body is no longer a passive subject for meaning to be imposed upon, but a vital tool by which women are able to express their identity and reflect on both their individual and shared experiences.
Featured are works by 17 female artists from five continents, adding to the gallery's impressive track record of gender diversity. (When feminist activists The Guerilla Girls were offered a show at the Whitechapel Gallery recently, they asked for the proportion of females who had been exhibited in the last five years. They accepted when they discovered it was 40%.)
The exhibition is part of a series showcasing rarely-seen collections, so unless you want to hop on a flight to Washington DC, make sure you see it here this spring.