Power and Pleasure

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The exhibition 'Power and Pleasure' brings together photographic works that explore forms of social power, exerting their own pleasure through performance and observation. Power takes many forms just as pleasure does, pleasure in looking and pleasure in power are two relevant contemporary questions for photography. This exhibition links the two as a question through the work of five alumni from the renowned MA Photographic Studies course at the University of Westminster, exploring the relation between pleasure and power. Can one undermine the other or increase its effectiveness? What is the nature of their intersection and how can photographic work intervene in these issues? Andreia Alves De Oliveira presents the office as a defining space of industrialised and service-based society, documenting offices of financial, corporate and legal institutions based in the City and Canary Wharf, London. Lisbeth Bang and Paul Newman utilise performance to challenge tropes and stereotypes in society; Bang sets out to counter prejudices concerning older people while Newman deploys the self-portrait to explore the homophobic and hetero-normative discourses. Romain Forquy makes a statement about visual gluttony in the age of digital media, while Jan Stradtmann uses photography to deconstruct traditional signifiers of wealth after the financial crisis. Gallery talk Wednesday 20 November, 1-2pm Panel discussion led by MA Photographic Studies Course Leader David Bate, with Margherita Sprio, Senior Lecturer in Film History and Theory, and Jennifer Doyle, Professor of English at the University of California and Visiting Fellow - TrAIN/CCW Fulbright Distinguished Chair 2013.