The Walther Collection: The Way She Looks — Jill Glessing

[Winter 2020]

Ryerson Image Centre, Guest curator: Sandrine Colard
September 11–December 8, 2019

By Jill Glessing

Photography extends the gaze, making material its spectrum of desires and subject positions – whether violence, control, submission, negotiation, or resistance. Once etched as image – on plate, print, or screen – the momentary exchange circulates and is entrenched as truth. For The Way She Looks, curator Sandrine Colard expands John Berger’s assessment of patriarchal visual dynamics – “Men look, women are looked at” – into realms of racial power. And then, she undoes it. Through over one hundred works drawn from the Walther Collection, of and by African women from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, Colard prompts viewers to consider alternate ways of reading images…

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