Jan 22 - Mar 13, 2016
Reception: Fri, Jan 22, 6–8pm
Logan Center Gallery

Unsuspending Disbelief questions the notion of a straightforward relationship between the photograph, what it depicts, and what it “means.” The exhibition’s repeated images of rainbows are an analog to the values we invest in photography. Light phenomenon without inherent meaning, photographs are understood as representing what they picture. Their social, historical, political, and aesthetic codes are seemingly neutral, as their ubiquity gives rise to a veracity that is understood as resolute. Foregrounding the conventions and rhetoric of photography, the artists included in Unsuspending Disbelief undermine photography’s legitimization of hegemonic forms of desire and its naturalization of the “real.” Drawing on traditional categories of picture making, from portraits of a beloved, to documentary and architectural photography, this exhibition considers strategies of recontextualization that displace the authority of the camera’s gaze. The exhibition features the work of ten contemporary international artists, including Shumon Ahmed, Matthew Connors, Gauri Gill, Paul Graham, An-My Lê, Yamini Nayar, Thasnai Sethaseree, Tejal Shah, Mickalene Thomas, and Lidwien van de Ven. 

Curated by Laura Letinsky, Professor in the Department of Visual Arts.

Presented by Logan Center Exhibitions with additional support provided by the Center of South Asian Studies (COSAS); Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry; Northwestern University; DoVA Open Practice Committee; The Arts Council, and The Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.

Unsuspending Disbelief: The Working Sessions
All sessions took place at the Gray Center Lab in Midway Studios.

Fri, Jan 15, 3:30pm
On the Ground: Renovating Social Institutions
with Thasnai Sethaseree, Faheem Majeed, Susan Meiselas, Dan Peterman and Hamza Walker followed by a reception

Mon, Jan 25, 3:30pm
The Form of Fear: Human Rights and Censorship in the Media
with Matthew Connors, Jonathan D. Katz, Genevieve Lakier, and Thasnai Sethaseree followed by a reception

Fri, Mar 4, 3:30pm
Bodies of Power and Desire for New Architecture 
with Sarah Luna, Yamini Nayar, DN Rodowick, and Yesomi Umolu followed by a reception