In the Now: Gender and Nation in Europe, Selections from the Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl Photography Collection
March 8–July 7, 2024
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, 4th Floor
In the Now unites nearly fifty women artists who are resisting traditional ideas of gender and nationality, as well as of photography itself. The first museum survey of photography-based works by women artists born or based in Europe, this exhibition interrogates the continent’s legacies of nationalism and patriarchal power structures—which continue to shape everyday life, particularly for women.
In the Now highlights the expansive nature of the Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl Photography Collection at the Brooklyn Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Made entirely after 2000, the exhibition’s more than seventy artworks offer a window into the first decades of the twenty-first century. In the section titled “Gender,” photographers such as Bettina von Zwehl and Elina Brotherus contend with (mis)representations of women’s bodies and experiences, bucking against oppressive beauty standards and the male gaze. “Nation” unpacks the promises—and realities—of contemporary Europe and the ongoing fallout of European nationalism and colonialism. The controlled explosion in Sarah Pickering’s Landmine (2005), for example, underscores the relative peace in England as British troops supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq. And in “Photography,” women artists upend this male-dominated medium with experimental approaches—as in Shirana Shahbazi’s Farsh-13-2006 (2006), a Vermeer-inspired photographic portrait translated onto a carpet hand-knotted in her native Iran. Together the works defy outdated definitions of a woman, an artist, a nation, and a photograph.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue of the collection published by Steidl, featuring an essay by Rebecca Mark, Director of the Institute for Women’s Leadership and a professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University.
In the Now: Gender and Nation in Europe, Selections from the Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl Photography Collection is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibition is curated by Drew Sawyer, former Phillip and Edith Leonian Curator of Photography, Brooklyn Museum; Britt Savelsen, Curator and Head, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department and Prints and Drawings Department; and Eve Schillo, Associate Curator, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Brooklyn Museum presentation is organized by Carmen Hermo, Associate Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, with Imani Williford, Curatorial Assistant, Photography, Fashion, and Material Culture, Brooklyn Museum.