19 Apr Unveiled: Lindsey Beal, Megan Jacobs + Sarah Sudhoff
Lindsey Beal, Megan Jacobs + Sarah Sudhoff
May 17 – June 29, 2019
Colorado Photographic Arts Center
1070 Bannock St., Denver
Opening Reception with Megan Jacobs and Sarah Sudhoff:
Saturday, May 18 (5 – 8 pm)
The Colorado Photographic Arts Center presents Unveiled – an exhibition of three photographic projects that reveal overlooked aspects of women’s sexuality, motherhood, and reproductive health.
Lindsey Beal: Parturition
In her series Parturition, Lindsey Beal documents vintage gynecological and obstetric instruments from libraries at Harvard, Yale, Duke and Brown. The objects, some dating back to the 1700s, range from “Dr. John Hooper’s Female Pills” to a nipple shield made of lead. While photographing them, Beal encountered a complicated history. “Medical history has been fraught with racism and sexism—tools were often forcibly tested on the poor, the enslaved, and sex workers,” she writes. Conversely, those tools saved lives.
Beal also discovered that some tools haven’t changed much, like forceps and speculums. “Some were created pre-germ theory and used materials such as leather, wood, horn or ivory,” she said. “Others more closely resemble and use materials familiar to us today.”
Each photograph is printed digitally on Plexiglas, creating an object reminiscent of 20th century educational slides. Beal’s choice of materials links past to present and invites us to reflect on how women’s reproductive health and medicine has evolved, yet in some aspects remains the same.
Lead Nipple Shield ©Lindsey Beal
Megan Jacobs: Hidden Mothers
Megan Jacobs’ series of portraits references Victorian-era “hidden mother” photography, when mothers who wanted a record of their children would hide under fabric and hold their child for the duration of the exposure to ensure a sharp image. Jacobs’ images are a metaphor for the unrecognized work that mothers do to support, provide for and nurture their children.
“Mothers are navigating a world where their roles as a nurturer can feel sidelined and invisible,” she writes.
Each mother is wrapped in floral bed linen that elicits traditional notions of femininity and domestic spaces. “There is a tension between hiding and revealing: the mothers’ identities are obscured, yet the vibrant sheets accentuate their presence, while in other instances aspects of their identities are exposed.”
Historic Hidden Mother Photograph
Sarah Sudhoff: Wired
Wired is a series of documentary photographs of sexual devices used by the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Founded by the famous sexologist Alfred Kinsey in 1947, the Institute has always been a lightning rod for controversy.
Wired began as a way to satisfy Sudhoff’s curiosity about the Institute. During one visit, she was exploring the Institute’s library when a graduate student walked in to clean one of the medical devices being used next door. “It was a potent reminder that sexual research is still happening, and it is just as pressing – and taboo – as it was 60 years ago,” Sudhoff writes.
She became fascinated with the devices used in sex research. “We can’t help but imagine the stories the devices carry with them: What was done with them? To whom? And by whom? And because these devices are intended to elicit and record sexual responses, they can never be fully separated from their “naughty” or “pornographic” meanings, no matter to what extent the Institute uses them as tools of science.”
Vaginal Photoplethysmograph II ©Sarah Sudhoff
About the Artists
Lindsey Beal (LindseyBeal.com)
Lindsey Beal is a photo-based artist in Providence, Rhode Island where she teaches at Rhode Island School of Design, Massachusetts College of Art & Design and New Hampshire Institute of Art’s MFA program. She has an MFA in Photography from the University of Iowa and a Graduate Certificate in Book Arts at the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book.
As a photo-based artist, she combines research about historical and contemporary women’s lives with historical photographic processes; often including sculpture, papermaking, and artist books in her work. Inspired by the ways in which contemporary American society views women, she investigates how women lived in the past, drawing parallels and contrasts between women’s lives then and now. Both through presentation and subject matter, she connects the viewer to the past and how it reflects today’s political and social culture. She connects her imagery to photographic history, how it was practiced, developed and presented by early photographers.
Lindsey has been featured in the New York Times Lens Blog, Slate France, BBC Mundo, PDN, New Scientist, Lenscratch, Don’t Take Pictures, LensCulture, Light Leaked, and published in various textbooks and periodicals. She has shown at national museums, galleries & universities, including solo shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Danforth Art Museum, and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She was a Finalist for Photolucida’s Critical Mass Top 200 in 2016 and 2018.
Megan Jacobs (meganjacobs.com)
Megan Jacobs is an artist based in New Mexico. Her creative work explores delicate relationships—our existence as material and concept, the interweaving between two partners in love and the bond of parent and child. Her work has been featured in Musee Magazine, Lenscratch, Feature Shoot, F-STOP Magazine, Fraction Magazine and Frankie Magazine.
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been part of exhibitions at Blue Sky Gallery, The FENCE (regional), Saatchi Gallery (online), the Museum of New Art (MONA), Pingyao Photographic Festival, and the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA). Jacobs is an Associate Professor in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico.
Sarah Sudhoff (sarahsudhoff.com)
Sarah Sudhoff holds an MFA in Photography from New York’s Parsons School of Design and a BJ in Journalism and Photography from the University of Texas at Austin. She has received a 2017 Individual Artist Grant from Houston Arts Alliance for her recent body of work Point of Origin and is the Executive Director for the Texas Photographic Society. Sudhoff previously served as Executive Director of Houston Center for Photography and owner of Capsule Gallery in Houston. She has been photo editor for Texas Monthly and Time magazines and on the boards of Austin Center for Photography and Texas Photographic Society. She taught photography at Stephen F. Austin State University, Trinity University, and the Art Institute of San Antonio and participated in artist residencies at Artpace and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction in Bloomington, Indiana. Sudhoff has also been awarded by The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation (2013) and exhibited internationally and across the U.S. including recent exhibitions and performances at Texas Vignette, Dallas; Satellite Art Show, Austin; Experimental Action, Houston; Cindy Lisica Gallery in Houston, Galveston Arts Center, Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, Gray Duck Gallery in Austin, Filter Photo Festival and Roots & Culture in Chicago, and the DongGang International Photo Festival in South Korea.