The exhibition Female View focuses on fashion photography by women photographers, which is often unjustly neglected. This medium has been shaped by women for decades. Most of them have worked for influential magazines such as Harpers Bazaar and Vogue and thus influenced the style of their time as well as other artists. A large number of exhibitions on fashion photography have so far depicted the male gaze on the female body, through which, sometimes dubious, representations of the garments are staged. The viewers of these images are mostly female. This problem is linked to the broader field of the fashion business, which is largely geared towards female target groups, but whose executive committees are often staffed by male leaders. In this context, it is also possible to trace the social and political changes that have taken place in the female and male body images and fashion of the various decades.
The current production of fashion images is more diverse than it was in the 20th century. The gaze is no longer exclusively directed towards supposed ideal images of beauty. The concepts of beauty, gender classification, cultural participation and identity are being called into question. This tendency has already reached the mainstream and is reflected in advertising as well as TV formats. In order to show the range of today's production, photographers with queer and feminist emphases in their work are as much a part of the artist selection as BIPOC.
In the exhibition, the transformation of the photographic image and its medial dissemination is presented aesthetically and located in the respective historical and social context: from the fashion magazine to the exhibition space and the coffee table book to video staging and, above all, to digital self-staging in today's social media, the relevance of which is constantly growing in the present. The development from the 1930s onwards will be exemplified by selected positions. This selection focuses on women photographers from Europe and the USA, with spotlights on developments in the respective fashion centres of the periods described.
Amber Pinkerton, Nadia, Girls Next Door, 2020 Digital C-Type © The Artist, Courtesy Alice Black Gallery, London
Amber Pinkerton, Sabah & Aminati: Girls Next Door, 2020 Digital C-Type © The Artist, Courtesy Alice Black Gallery, London
Ellen von Unwerth, Claudia Schiffer for Guess, Nashville, 1989 Archival pigment print © Ellen von Unwerth
Ellen von Unwerth, Lana del Rey, 2012 C-print © Ellen von Unwerth
GABO, Eva Padberg Fine art print/Hahnemühle Büttenpapier © GABO
GABO, Jessica Schwarz (Design Guido Maria Kretschmer) Fine art print/Hahnemühle Büttenpapier © GABO
Lee Miller, Model (Elizabeth Cowell) wearing Digby Morton Suit, 1941 © Lee Miller Archives
Lillian Bassman, Barbara Mullen, um 1952/1994 Silbergelatine © Estate of Lillian Bassman Foto: Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
Regina Relang, Der neue Look, 1970er © Münchner Stadtmuseum, Sammlung Fotografie, Archiv Relang
Regina Relang, Fashion Hats, 1950er © Münchner Stadtmuseum, Sammlung Fotografie, Archiv Relang
Ellen von Unwerth, Lana del Rey, 2012 © Ellen von Unwerth Studios
Elizaveta Porodina, Cecile and Eden, Paris, 2021 © Elizaveta Porodina
Liv Liberg, britt (summer) (styled by Isabelle Sayer), 2021 © Liv Liberg
Liv Liberg, floor (cheeks) (für Acne Studios), 2021 © Liv Liberg