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Yasumasa Morimura in Be Seen: Portrait Photography Since Stonewall

Yasumasa Morimura, Portrait (Fan), 1991. Color photograph mounted on canvas.

Yasumasa Morimura is included in Be Seen: Portrait Photography Since Stonewall at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut.


The 1969 Stonewall riots are viewed as an important turning point in the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. Be Seen explores how artists have used portrait photography to challenge, subvert, and play with societal norms of gender and sexuality. In the past 50 years, photographers have documented the experiences of the queer community. They have also examined how gender identity and sexual orientation were viewed historically and how they are constructed today. For many of the artists in Be Seen, gender is not simply something we are, but something we perform. Just as the subjects of these photographs “pose” for the camera, so too do we perform our gender through the clothes we wear and how we interact with others.