Cuban artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons created this work – titled Voyeurs & Beholders of . . . – in response to the Iraq War. “When I see what is going on in the world, I feel like crying,” she said in a 2008 interview.
Voyeurs & Beholders of . . . is made up of five photographs in which Campos-Pons subtly confronts the viewer with issues of gender and race. She has outlined the large eyes in the foreground with long strands of frizzy black hair, which reflects her own concern with the voyeuristic perception of women—especially black women. The absence of faces, however, makes the eyes ambivalent. While hair and crying conventionally suggest the “weaker sex,” the act of watching—of being a voyeur—has traditionally masculine connotations.
Voyeurs & Beholders of . . . is on view in the exhibition New Arrivals: Modern and Contemporary Additions to the Collection through June 29.