Curated by Girls made its name on the world wide web as a platform advocating equality and inclusivity. Run by the curator and artist Laetitia Duveau, it is essentially an online gallery promoting visual artists of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, gender identities and body types. Even though the platforms is welcoming to every visual medium and genre, its focus instinctively gravitates towards young portrait photography undermining the power structures of white-straightmale dominated world.
The virtual gallery recently branched into the offline world to present their “#1 IRL show”. Titled “Freer in Berlin”, the exhibition brought together 26 international artist who offered their answers to the question “what is new feminity”. As diverse as their subject matters, approaches and techniques might be, the artists share a common goal to replace the objectifying male gaze with one that is empathic and engaging.
Portrait by LA based Brandy Eve Allen attracted attention upon entering the gallery space. Aesthetically speaking it resembles a still from Mulholland Drive, its tight framing doesn't reveal whether the girl shudders her shoulders and closes her eyes in pleasure or pain. On the neighbouring wall hung a photograph of a pink-and- turquoise lollipop covered in body hair, part of the pastel pink still life series by Montreal's Laurence Philomene. The curator herself was looking down from a photograph by Philippe Duval situated on the other side of the room. In the series called “Out Of Bed”, Arthur Oscar captured girls in an intimate, natural setting. Stefanie Zofia Schulz visited Germany‘s largest collective lodging for refugees regularly for over a year and portrayed kids growing up in conditions that were meant to be temporary, but became a long term solution.
Illustrations and paintings were featured alongside the photographs, adding up to the diverse yet smoothly put together mosaic of female views on female reality. Its short duration of two days only and the constant flux of visitors added immediacy and augmented the show into a happening, a celebration of new visions in portraying womanhood.
Perhaps the so-called “macho men” who ventured into Blender&Co over the weekend had their values challenged, as Laetitia expressed hopes for. And those who didn't might have next time, the #1 in the title suggests that sooner or later, a second edition will follow.
Pictures from Curated by Girls website