Ishe Barrett, Camosun College 2015 Van Den Brink Summer Resident

    Ishe BarrettisheIMG_2544  

Alpha/Betta male

Barrett’s current photography project examines cis white male gesture and behavior induced by the body slamming environment of the mosh pit.

Barrett is curious about the rules of male on male embrace– the wrestling, pushing, jerking motions—the bodies crashing into one another, and the rush of violent abandonment and self-expression.

Barrett asks what these gestures might look like outside of the pit. So Barrett strips a solitary male from the action man mosh and drops him into a clean white studio. Here, he is told to gesticulate, to recreate his elegant flaring dance in private for this female photographer. Does Barrett’s eye see aggression or grace?  Does self-awareness in the male model bring forth gestures of compassion and play?

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Barrett tells me she once found a Betta fish in a mud puddle, she took it home and fostered it. She taught it to jump from its tank to butt her in the head and lay in her hand while she stroked it.

Barrett compares her model to a Betta fish and the studio photoshoot to an aquatic cave; the male model/Betta fish like a drop of ink in collision with water.

These accentuated tensions and pleasures in Barrett’s photographic approach open up resistant ways of looking at male posturing and female pleasure.

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Ishe Barrett’s exhibition will open September 8th, Young Building Studio 117, 8pm-10pm and continues till Sept 12th.

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