Heide Museum is hosting the first survey exhibition in Australia of American photographer Catherine Opie – Catherine Opie: Binding Ties – until Sunday 9 July.
The exhibition will feature more than 50 of Catherine’s works ranging in diversity and scale yet reflecting the core theme of challenging understandings of personal and political affiliation.
Opie continues to draw critical acclaim, earning the 2019 Guggenheim fellowship and the Robert Mapplethorpe Resident in Photography at the American Academy in Rome for 2021.
This is not the first time Heide has exhibited Opie’s work – in 1994, the gallery displayed 18 of her pieces in the exhibition Persona Cognita – her first appearance in Australia.
The current exhibition displays Heide’s earliest and most renowned works which examine constructions of gender and sexuality, alternative manifestations of the nuclear household and methods of asserting action on numerous global crises.
Opie is overall driven by a desire to dissect the culturally constructed American dream through dynamic photography.
Heide Museum artistic director Lesley Harding is thrilled to welcome Opie’s work back to the gallery due to the artist’s ongoing commitment to creating transgressive material that illuminates pressing issues.
“Her photographs and digital animations give voice to political and environmental issues that concern and unite communities across the world,” says Harding.
Opie’s notable studio portraits of leather dykes, drag performers and transgender people in the queer community of San Francisco and Los Angeles in the 1990s continue to generate discussions regarding identity expression and group membership.
Her most recent series builds on these discussions and also proposes the complications inherent in how our desire to identify as individuals often neglects the importance of identifying as a broader collective to ensure strength in combating social inequality and imminent environmental catastrophes.
“The selected works demonstrate Opie’s mastery of photographic technologies to offer us a heterogeneous conception of human relations – one that moves beyond the traditional limits of identity and changes notions of ‘family,’ ‘community’ and ‘collectivity’,” says guest exhibition curator Brooke Babington.
Photography supplied by Heide Museum of Modern Art.
Featured Image: Catherine Opie Untitled #4 (Political Collage)2019 digital video on monitor, 2:10 mins © Catherine Opie Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Lehmann Maupin, New York,Hong Kong, London, and Seoul
Eager to see more exhibitions this winter? Check out the Upcoming NGV Winter Masterpieces