Whitney Hubbs: Body Doubles | FOTOFOCUS 2018
September 28th - November 2nd, 2018
In conjunction with the 2018 FotoFocus Biennial, the Art Academy of Cincinnati is pleased to present Body Doubles, an exhibition by photographer Whitney Hubbs. Please join us for a public reception on Friday, October 26th, from 5—8pm (an artist’s lecture will also take place at 6pm in the AAC lecture hall).
About the exhibition:
Whitney Hubbs uses untraditional portraiture to discuss representation of the female body. She photographs other women as stand-ins for herself in awkward and physically uncomfortable positions. The images are slightly unsettling, yet beautiful in form. Many viewers might dismiss them as formal compositions, but the strange juxtaposition of the figure with fabric, a “feminine” material, or green plastic gloves for cleaning references a discourse about the female body from classic art to current domestic politics. Hubbs references headless busts from global antiquity and mannequins from department stores while asserting control over how the body is seen.
Hubbs’ 2016 exhibition Body Doubles at the M+B Gallery in Los Angeles was widely referenced as an extension of conversations from feminist artists of the past.
Artnet News says, “The lonely, posed feeling of the studio shots recalls some of Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills…” Like other iconic feminist photographers such as Barbara Kruger and Lorna Simpson, Hubbs uses composition and gesture to point out the familiarity of this faceless nude woman. With today’s refocus on feminist art and politics, the Body Doubles work is relevant more than ever to the way art audiences see women’s bodies.
In the archive of female bodies in art, men have been the dictators. A scolding of Modern photography’s use of objectified women was the jumping point for Whitney Hubbs’ work. Hubbs created Body Doubles in a direct response to Edward Weston’s nude images of his wife. However, Hubbs controlled the image from a woman’s voice. Her titles were the word “woman” and a number, referencing Willem DeKooning’s Woman I and Woman II which notoriously render a woman’s single breast larger than her head.
In 1989 “MOMA’s Hot Mommas” from Art Journal, Carol Duncan writes about Woman I, “de Kooning knowingly and assertively exercises his patriarchal privilege of objectifying male sexual fantasy as high culture.” Hubbs challenges the male gaze and subverts tradition by directing the viewer to an art historically informed pose and portion of the body. As a woman she reclaims how the female figure is photographed and essentially seen in visual culture.
Support for this FotoFocus Biennial 2018 exhibition was provided by FotoFocus.
FotoFocus Biennial 2018 spans over 80 museums, galleries, and universities across Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio; and features over 250 artists, curators, and educators. Each Biennial is structured around a unifying theme; for 2018 that theme is Open Archive.
Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm