Houston, TX – Houston Center for Photography is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibitions, Beauty Knows No Pain and Unite and Untie.
Main Gallery: Borrowing its title from the 1972 documentary by Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt and the slogan of the Kilgore Rangerettes, Beauty Knows No Painaddresses the perception of femininity in contemporary American culture.
Texas photographer O. Rufus Lovett’s celebrated black and white photographs of the Kilgore Rangerettes dance drill team reveal a long-standing tradition of discipline and teamwork towards the achievement of youthful glamour, uniformity, and synchronicity.
Emerging artist Leah DeVun’s color portraits of young Houston girls dressed up as Hannah Montana depict a subset of popular culture fixated on emulating a young female icon. This juxtaposition probes at the varied performative rituals of young American women and girls who, regardless of their socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, desire to embrace celebrity and femininity.
This exhibition is made possible in part thanks to a Mayor’s Initiative Grant, City of Houston
through the Houston Arts Alliance and an Anonymous donor.
Galleries X, Y, and Learning Center: Unite and Untie is a group exhibition about America’s relationship to recent wars in the Middle East: conflict depicted by the American media; soldiers training with Iraqis and Afghanis in U.S. military cultural role-playing camps; war zones at night through the lens of night vision goggles; the manifestation of fear – whether real or imagined – by the American public; and American soldiers grappling with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).
Houston-based artist Mark Bagge’s Iraq Live addresses how the media reports the war by looking at the blurred boundaries between documentary and entertainment journalism, and how we as individuals choose to form our opinions based on media coverage. Using a Polaroid 600 camera, Bagge photographed news reports on television including important events such as the fall of Saddam Hussein and the Saving Private Lynch campaign.
Christopher Sims´ Home Fronts reveals the inner workings of Iraqi and Afghani camps on US soil, constructed by the military to help prepare soldiers nearing deployment. Citizens from the two countries help train the soldiers about their customs, present them with symbols of everyday life. Concurrently, soldiers are trained to fight insurgencies.
Photojournalist Toby Morris documents US soldiers who have recently returned home from the Middle East and are living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Nina Berman’s Homeland Insecurity series depicts an ever-vigilant America post 9-11. Showing what she refers to as "the fantasies of war," Americans embody a culture of fear, incorporating defense tactics into their daily lives.
Benjamin Lowy presents night vision images of a war-torn Iraq where only Western soldiers have the ability to see in the dark night via infrared technology. Symptoms of conflict take on many different forms: oppression, alienation, anomie, segregation, devastation, and galvanization of entities.
In addition, HCP will host a portal for the US Military-created video game, America’s Army. This interactive game was created by the government in 2002 to promote recruitment and serve as a global public relations initiative. America’s Army currently has over 10 million registered players worldwide.
US soldiers are invited to contribute their cell phone camera images to an online exhibition and streaming slide show — a unique form of citizen journalism from the front line.
This exhibition is made possible in part from support by Wayne Gilbert.
Important Upcoming Events
Monday, February 9, 2009, 6:30pm - Print Auction Exhibition Tour with Anne Tucker and Clint Willour at HCP
Thursday, February 12, 2009, 6-9:30pm - 2009 HCP Print Auction at the Junior League of Houston
Thursday, February 26, 2009, 6:30-8:30pm –Kilgore Rangerettes: A Texas Icon. Co-sponsored by the MFAH. At the Brown Auditorium Theater, MFAH
Friday, February 27, 2009, 6-8pm – Opening Receptions, Beauty Knows No Pain and Unite and Untie, at HCP
Saturday, March 14, 7:30-9pm - Purple Hearts: Back from Iraq (2005) documentary, at HCP
Sunday, March 15, 1– 2 pm: Salon discussion with Unite and Untie photographer Nina Berman. Co-sponsored by Aurora Picture Show. At Aurora Video Library, 1524 Sul Ross.
Thursday, March 19, 7–10pm - Karaoke party for Beauty Knows No Pain. Reveal your inner rock star at this event! Hannah Montana music available, along with your other favorite tunes. At HCP.