… i read about Pixy Liao’s staged photographic work calling into question the patriarchy and its notion of the place of women… it has been getting a lot of attention… there is currently an exhibit at Fotografiska in New York City… one of her images:

After Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, Experimental Relationship series, 2019, © Pixy Liao1

… the incorporation of this work into the gallery and museum art system is the beginning of its absorption into the patriarchy and neutralization of its message as noted by Abigail Solomon Godeau in quoting Walter Benjamin in Photography at the Dock:

We are faced with the fact… that the bourgeois apparatus of production and publication can assimilate astonishing quantities of revolutionary themes, indeed, can propagate them without calling its own existence, and the existence of the class that owns it, seriously into question2

… this has a tendency to neuter the message… it is interesting as Asian art too, given the Atlanta shootings, it clearly is in opposition to the myth that woman, particularly Asian woman, is/should be passive/submissive…

… Godeau, in discussing the work of Connie Hatch, notes that her work is not easily commodified, existing primarily as performative slide shows, which makes the neutering of its message difficult… Godeau notes:

To refuse to supply the apparatus, as Benjamin and Brecht enjoined, may in fact be possible only by affirming one’s place in the peripheral spaces outside the emporium of high culture.3

  1. https://www.fotografiska.com/nyc/exhibition/your-gaze-belongs-to-me/ ↩︎

  2. Walter Benjamin, The Author as Producer, in Reflections, ed. Peter Demetz (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Jovanavich 1978), 228 ↩︎

  3. Abigail Solomon Godeau, Photography at the Dock, University of Minnesota Press, 1991, p 193 ↩︎