Laura Hudspith‘s photographic work is included in the exhibition “Passion & Pretense,” on view at be contemporary gallery in Innisfil, Canada, October 29 through November 21. Working across a variety of media, the artists of “Passions & Pretense” expose an art form that is universal and evolving yet often remains decontextualized, suppressed and hidden from view within mainstream cultural institutions.
Sexual enlightenment and desire within the 20th century had been liberated from many of the taboos of previous generations. Artists through time have expressed poetically and sometimes shockingly sex and love. Be they partnered, group or solo explorations in pleasure, expressions of passion can be depicted symbolically or directly. Physical passion expressed within the arts is not pornography but can be easily misunderstood, misinterpreted and judged due to the accessible proliferation of what exists online, a relatively new 21st century paradigm of how the world is ‘seen’. As a result, the appearance and depiction of physical desire and its implied associations in art can be stifled, hidden, due to current and outspoken conservative perspectives that have become professed as social norms as well as the personal risk of mistreatment on social media platforms. Sexual crimes have also come to the forefront with and by important movements as the fourth-wave of feminism–the #MeToo Movement–where allegations of sex offenses committed largely by men in positions of power and prominence have been exposed and who are held to account. Erotica, when laid bare within the visual arts has become a broader pictorial narrative of social engagement and expression.