Masculinities 2

Must-see exhibitions in February 2020

Welcome to our round-up of must-see exhibitions in February 2020.

This month includes explorations of masculinity in photography and film, our relationship with the arboreal and how roads shape society.

Installation shot: Four Hugs Wide by Harry Borden, one of our must-see exhibitions in February 2020
Installation shot: Four Hugs Wide © Harry Borden

Four Hugs Wide

This project explores and portrays our relationships with the arboreal.

It does this through encounters with people who love, live and work with trees and woodlands throughout Britain.

The current exhibition at The Plough focuses on people in the Southwest taken from the wider project.

Here you will find artists, farmers, activists and campaigners, forest food gardeners, designers, witches, musicians, writers, iron-age tool makers, healers, health workers and more.

All share an innate respect for nature and live according to the maxim that we are part of a greater whole.

The collection of portraits by Harry Borden are unromanticised: personal, political, open and affecting.

Together they reveal, disturb, enchant, inspire and incite new questions for our own connections – with the wider world, our own desires, and each other.

Each portrait is accompanied by a poem by Mireille Thornton.

The main exhibition is accompanied by a series of events, workshops and films.

Borden is taking over the Spectrum Instagram account from February 17 to 21.

Four Hugs Wide, The Plough Arts Centre, Devon, until March 7.

A view out of the top deck of a bus in A Passage Through Passages
A Passage Through Passages

A Passage Through Passages

This exhibition takes viewers on new and recently rebuilt roads across Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and India.

It travels through the early 20th century to the central-Indian Nagpur Road Plan of 1943 before heading to the hope, promise, acceleration and hubris of later decades.

Images take now-impossible journeys across nation-states, on roads after and before conflicts.

Ethnographic and archival work in five field sites inspires A Passage Through Passages.

A multi-screen film work by CAMP, an internationally-renowned artist group based in Mumbai, is a central feature of the exhibition.

Spectrum Photographic scanned, printed and mounted the exhibition.

A Passage Through PassagesThe Brunei Gallery, until March 21.

Linen spills out of a drawer in Paulina Korobkiewicz's Udarny trud, one of our must-see exhibitions in February 2020
Udarny trud © Paulina Korobkiewicz

Udarny trud

Paulina Korobkiewicz’s solo show consists of archival material found in an abandoned textile factory in Alytus, Lithuania, alongside contemporary photos she took of the building and its interiors.

Born and raised in a borderland town in Eastern Poland, Korobkiewicz came across the factory when researching a project on aesthetics of post-socialist spaces in 2018.

Upon entering the building, she discovered a wealth of neglected artefacts, textile samples, and personal photographs of the factory staff.

Alytaus Medvilnes Kombinatas was one of the largest textile companies in Lithuania and the Baltic States.

Today, a dilapidated building and its monumental structure, cracked windows, and torn curtains represent the material remnants of the past.

Through juxtaposing the past and present of the textile enterprise, Korobkiewicz poses questions about the meaning of labour in the previous and current political systems.

The exhibition is accompanied by short essays by Natalia Domagala, a Polish-born, London-based writer and researcher.

Spectrum Photographic printed C-type Matt prints mounted to PVC for the show.

Korobkiewicz is taking over the Spectrum Instagram account from February 10 to 14.

Udarny trud, Centrala, Birmingham, February 8 to March 27.

Masculinities: Liberation through Photography

This major group exhibition explores how masculinity is experienced, performed, coded and socially constructed as expressed and documented through photography and film.

It takes in images from the 1960s to the present day.

The exhibition brings together more than 300 works by more than 50 pioneering international artists, photographers and filmmakers.

They include Richard Avedon, Peter Hujar, Isaac Julien, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Robert Mapplethorpe, Annette Messager and Catherine Opie.

It aims to show how photography and film have been central to the way masculinity is imagined and understood in contemporary culture.

The show also highlights lesser-known and younger artists – some of whom have never exhibited in the UK.

They include Cassils, Sam Contis, George Dureau, Elle Pérez, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Hank Willis Thomas, Karlheinz Weinberger and Marianne Wex.

Masculinities: Liberation through Photography, Barbican Art Gallery, February 20 to May 17.

Main image: Taliban portrait, Kandahar, Afghanistan, 2002 © Collection T. Dworzak/Magnum Photos

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