Unsuspending Disbelief

Logan Center for the Arts , Chicago, United States
22 Jan 2016 - 13 Mar 2016

Unsuspending Disbelief

Gauri Gill, Ruined Rainbow, 2010. Archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist.

‘Unsuspending Disbelief ‘ questions the notion of a straightforward relationship between the photograph, what it depicts, and what it “means.”

The exhibition’s repeated images of rainbows are an analog to the values we invest in photography. Light phenomenon without inherent meaning, photographs are understood as representing what they picture. Their social, historical, political, and aesthetic codes are seemingly neutral, as their ubiquity gives rise to a veracity that is understood as resolute. Foregrounding the conventions and rhetoric of photography, the artists included in Unsuspending Disbelief undermine photography’s legitimization of hegemonic forms of desire and its naturalization of the “real.” Drawing on traditional categories of picture-making, from portraits of a beloved, to documentary and architectural photography, this exhibition considers strategies of recontextualization that displace the authority of the camera’s gaze.

Featuring Shumon Ahmed, Matthew Connors, Gauri Gill, Paul Graham, An-My Lê, Yamini Nayar, Thasnai Sethaseree, Tejal Shah, Mickalene Thomas, and Lidwien van de Ven.

Related programming

A series of working sessions with artists, curators, and scholars on topics related to the exhibition. All sessions will take place at the Gray Center Lab in Midway Studios and are followed by a reception.

“On the Ground: Renovating Social Institutions”

Friday, January 15, 3:30pm

with Thasnai Sethaseree, Faheem Majeed, Susan Meiselas, Dan Peterman and Hamza Walker.

“The Form of Fear: Human Rights and Censorship in the Media”

Monday, January 25, 3:30pm

with Matthew Connors, Jonathan D. Katz, Genevieve Lakier, and Thasnai Sethaseree.

“Bodies of Power and Desire for New Architecture”

Friday, March 4, 3:30pm

with Yamini Nayar, DN Rodowick, Tejal Shah, and Yesomi Umolu.

Unsuspending Disbelief is curated by Laura Letinsky, Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, and is presented by Logan Center Exhibitions. Additional support provided by the Center of South Asian Studies (COSAS); Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry; Northwestern University; DoVA, Open Practice Committee; The Arts Council, and The Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.



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