Photography and Tenderness
How can we understand the violence that photography so often exerts and still use it to make something tender? Can any technology, which is by definition a machine-made, standardized, dehumanized touch, be tender? When does a photograph create a space for compassionate looking—especially for those that the camera has historically denied such tenderness?
This exhibition demonstrates how photographers use tenderness as a radical tool to confront the racist and colonial gaze of photography. A tender photograph understands the political implications of seeing and being seen, as well as one that creates counter narratives and confronts history.
Wave Pool Guest Curators Eliza Gregory (Sacramento, CA) and Lorena Molina (Cincinnati, OH) put forth a series of answers to the question, “How can a photograph be tender?” Referencing the work of contemporary photographers who are challenging the implicit and explicit colonial history of photography—such as Leonard Suryajaya, Gemma-Rose Turnbull and William Camargo—this exhibition creates an opportunity to convene the audience as a working group for change.
Artists: Erina C. Alejo, William Camargo, Stephanie Cuyubamba Kong, Gabriel Garcia Roman, Jesse Ly, Leonard Suryajaya, Gemma-Rose Turnbull, Carla Williams
Curators: Eliza Gregory and Lorena Molina
Leonard Suryajaya, Two Bodies, 2017. Archival inkjet print, 40 x 50 inches. Courtesy of the artist