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Images of the female body are inescapable, clothed or unclothed, it is and has been everywhere, for always. Throughout the history of visual culture, the female body has been considered the physical matter for the male artist to mould, embodying a vision of sexuality which leaves the female passive to the male.
You'll have noticed - hopefully - that at Lemonade we represent artists who challenge norms through their work, like Meg Mosley and her work on identity, or Christo Viola’s uber-sexy photographs of men and women. May Waver in particular has been giving voice to a generation of females using the internet, exploring notions of vulnerability and detachment online.
May’s recent group exhibition, Body Anxiety, brings together a group of artists who share the same concerns about the perception of femininity and femaleness that are found and attempt to re-evaluate what it is to be a woman online. Body Anxiety curators Leah Schrager and Jennifer Chan have focused on artists who use the female body as a site which reshapes “pre-existing narratives of gendered appropriation” by exploring work that re-examines this linear perspective. The main models for these artists are themselves, they are women who use their “selfie” to critique the way the female body is capitalised on by the rest of the world, online or offline.
What we love about Body Anxiety is the way these artists continue to use the internet as the arena for protest at the objectification of the female body, like the way the female body is at the heart of the power play between itself and the male gaze. Favourites include May Waver’s stuttering body gifs, Ann Hirsch’s videos and Randon Rosenbohm My Rejected Selfies.
Image: Erika Alexander - What We Do Is Secret, 2015
Body Anxiety is here