Art & Culture / Photography

Unretouched Women: inside the powerful photography exhibition

Offering an unusual look into the lives of women...

The 1970s were a tumultuous time. In some ways, the decade can be described as a continuation of the 1960s where women, African Americans, Native Americans, gays and other marginalized people continued their fight for equality. In a timeframe where feminism quickly gained an exceptional momentum, American photographers Eve Arnold, Abigail Heyman and Susan Meiselas decided to published books of a new kind: Growing up Female, The Unretouched Woman and Carnival Strippers.

These three books are now part of the Unretouched Women exhibition that opened at the Espace van Gogh during the Rencontres d’Arles photography Festival 2019 in the South of France. Curated by Clara Bouveresse, the exhibition unveils the unique process of Arnold, Heyman and Miselas’ works through drafts and contact sheets.

Combining testimonials and photographs, Arnold, Heyman and Meiselas offered an unusual look into the lives of women, both in the workplace and their private lives. By avoiding stereotypes, the books challenged gender bias and put “women to the test of the photographic image, avoiding stereotypes to draw alternative representations.”

Unretouched Women is at Espace Van Gogh, Place Félix Rey from 1 July – 22 September 2019.

11 July 2019