One of the many things I love about London is the culture for the asking. It makes the city an even more expansive space for different bodies, voices, ideas and experiences.
Made You Look is a fantastic exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery in Soho. It showcases the politics of black masculinity through style — specifically “dandyism” — colourful, provocative fashion across the decades. It runs from 15 Jul – 25 Sep 2016.
As the gallery website says, “Dandyism flies in the face of conventional constructions of the black masculine. It proposes that the black ‘dandy’, with his extravagant emphasis on dress foregrounds a hyper-visible identity which counters the heighted vulnerability, the result of a history of objectification. In the context of this exhibition, dandyism isn’t simply about sharp dressing but rather, problematising ideas of male identity through dress or deportment that is arresting, provocative, louche, camp and gloriously assertive.”
The exhibition, curated by Ekow Eshun, is a mix of contemporary and historic studio portraits and street photography by Larry Dunstan, Liz Johnson Artur, Samuel Fosso, Hassan Hajjaj , Colin Jones, Isaac Julien, Kristin-Lee Moolman, Jeffrey Henson Scales and Malick Sidibé.
If you’ve seen it, please share your thoughts in the comments. Or recommend your current favourite exhibition or show!