Approved: 25.10.2007

John Paul Evans

Artist, Lecturer / academic

Approved: 25.10.2007

My work seeks to address the way photography has been deployed to reinforce notions of gender in western society. Writers such as John Berger, Laura Mulvey and Richard Dyer have correlated binary concepts of male/female with activity and passivity and looking and being looked at. Through personal practice, an attempt is made to eschew this active/passive binary when photographing the male body. This has involved a variety of picture-making strategies that have been influenced and informed by constructionist conceptualizations of the body such as Bakhtin's 'carnivalesque' and Judith Butler's notion of gender becoming an 'activity', together with Michel Foucault's concept of discourse, which has been central to the conceptualisation of the 'queer theory' research paradigm. The photographic methods used in my practice are performative and engage with processes such as stillness, or repetitious bodily movement, in order to reveal an unconscious or unprepossessed state to the camera, with the aim of transcending patriarchal codes and 'becoming' something alternative, something 'queer'. In addressing the process of naturalization we might consider Judith Butler's suggestion:

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    Biography

    My work seeks to address the way photography has been deployed to reinforce notions of gender in western society. Writers such as John Berger, Laura Mulvey and Richard Dyer have correlated binary concepts of male/female with activity and passivity and looking and being looked at. Through personal practice, an attempt is made to eschew this active/passive binary when photographing the male body. This has involved a variety of picture-making strategies that have been influenced and informed by constructionist conceptualizations of the body such as Bakhtin's 'carnivalesque' and Judith Butler's notion of gender becoming an 'activity', together with Michel Foucault's concept of discourse, which has been central to the conceptualisation of the 'queer theory' research paradigm. The photographic methods used in my practice are performative and engage with processes such as stillness, or repetitious bodily movement, in order to reveal an unconscious or unprepossessed state to the camera, with the aim of transcending patriarchal codes and 'becoming' something alternative, something 'queer'. In addressing the process of naturalization we might consider Judith Butler's suggestion:

    If gender is something that one becomes-but can never be-then gender is itself a kind of becoming or activity, and that gender ought not to be conceived as a noun or a substantial thing or a static cultural marker, but rather as an incessant and repeated action of some sort. (Judith Butler - Gender Trouble)

    CV & Education

    1999-2015 - Senior Lecturer in Photography at University of Wales Trinity St David's Swansea

    Qualifications - 2011 - M Phil, Swansea Metropolitan University, Wales

    Solo exhibitions

    2005 - Bed Sheet Dreams, The Room, London

    1999 - A Different Point of View, MAC, Birmingham

    1996 - Dark Secrets.......Mortal Thoughts, Newport Museum & Art Gallery, Newport Gwent

    1995 - Hunks & Heroes, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

    Group exhibitions

    2016    Recipient of the Hasselblad Masters Award – publication & exhibition Cologne Germany  

    2015     Home Sweet Home - Ffotogallery Diffusion International Festival of Photography Cardiff

    2015     Pride Exhibition – FOAM Museum of Photography Amsterdam

    2015     Graphics Interchange Format: 25 Years of Focal Point Gallery –

                 Focal Point Southend

    2014     Uncertain States – Brighton Photo Biennial

    2014     Photo Review Awards - Philadelphia

    2014     Pride Photo Awards exhibition - Amsterdam

    2014     CNN Photoblog – Marital Ties

    2014     Voies Off Festival, Arles, France

    2013 -   From Common Differences - Ffotogallery Diffusion International Festival of Photography,                               Cardiff

    2008 - Unreliable Truths, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea  

    2006-8 - Sitting Room, International Touring exhibition

    1998 - 1999 - Barbarella - Dolls & Doll Imagery -Touring Exhibition - Kent Council  

    1997 - Barbie & Friends - Brighton Museum

    Publications

    2015   Looking for America - Ffotogallery Diffusion International Festival of Photography

    2013   From Common Differences – Ffotogallery Diffusion International Festival of Photography

    2008 - Unreliable Truths – exhibition catalogue – Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea

    2007 - Sitting Room - exhibition catalogue

    2006 - Re-imaging Wales - Seren

    2005 - Bed Sheet Dreams - exhibition brochure - Swansea Institute

    2004 - Male Bodies - a photographic history of the nude - Emmanuel Cooper - Prestel 

    2003 - Art Tomorrow - Edward Lucie Smith - Terrail publishing

    1998 - Barbarella Dolls and Doll imagery - exhibition catalogue - Kent Council

    1996 - Dark Secrets, Mortal Thoughts - exhibition brochure - Newport Museum

    1995 - Fully Exposed - .(2nd ed)  Emmanuel Cooper - Routledge

    1995 - Hunks & Heroes - exhibition brochure -  Grey Suit Publications