Unveiling Selfhood: Vicky Martin's Exploration of Female Identity

The municipality of Gauting (Munich Metropolitan Area) will host the Gauting International Photo Summer 2024, set to take place from June to September. This summer, in August, visitors are warmly welcomed to immerse themselves in the captivating exhibition "Selfhood" by the esteemed British photographer Vicky Martin, nestled in the serene ambiance of the town hall garden.

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《Sunday Best》
© Vicky Martin, courtesy Rathaus Gauting, Michael Nguyen

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《Love me Not》
© Vicky Martin, courtesy Rathaus Gauting, Michael Nguyen

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《Self》
© Vicky Martin, courtesy Rathaus Gauting, Michael Nguyen

Vicky Martin's photo series, "Selfhood," draws inspiration from the age-old proverb "the eyes are the window to the soul," embarking on a journey to challenge the conventional wisdom of associating the soul solely with the gaze. Each striking image in the series obscures the subject's eyes, inviting viewers to forge connections with the characters and narratives through alternative means, devoid of the traditional visual cues of eye contact.

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《Cavalier Pale》
© Vicky Martin, courtesy Rathaus Gauting, Michael Nguyen

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《White Rabbit》
© Vicky Martin, courtesy Rathaus Gauting, Michael Nguyen

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《Hat in Hand》
© Vicky Martin, courtesy Rathaus Gauting, Michael Nguyen

At the heart of the series lies the exploration of the female quest for an independent identity, articulated through external appearance, attire, and posture. This unconventional approach prompts a reflection on the pervasive practice of assessing an individual's character solely through eye contact. Each photograph encapsulates a unique story, united by a common thread—the relentless pursuit of selfhood amidst societal norms.

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《Pure as Snow》
© Vicky Martin, courtesy Rathaus Gauting, Michael Nguyen

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《In Plain Sight》
© Vicky Martin, courtesy Rathaus Gauting, Michael Nguyen

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《Red》
© Vicky Martin, courtesy Rathaus Gauting, Michael Nguyen

While celebrated for their resilience and autonomy, the figures portrayed in Martin's work also reveal glimpses of vulnerability, often concealed behind conventional tropes of femininity. Through the deliberate partial concealment of the subjects' eyes, Martin endeavors to illuminate the inner conflict between a woman's personal identity and society's entrenched stereotypes. The concealed gaze symbolizes a dual longing—the woman's yearning to shield her "soul" from external scrutiny, while simultaneously challenging society's reluctance to confront the multifaceted reality of individuality within the female experience.

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Vicky Martin, an acclaimed photographer hailing from the United Kingdom, is renowned for her conceptual portraits that blur the boundaries between reality and fantasy, foregrounding the diverse facets of the female experience. Her oeuvre graces the permanent collection of the FotoNostrum Mediterranean House of Photography in Barcelona and is represented by the Inside Out Art Gallery, Brussels. Residing and working in Staffordshire, Martin's work has garnered international acclaim, with numerous awards and accolades to her name.

Vicky Martin "Selfhood"

DatesAugust 8 - September 1, 2024
VenueRathaus Gauting, Town Hall Garden, Bahnhofstr. 7, D - 82131 Gauting, Germany
URLhttps://www.gauting.de/