The female gaze of American photographer Mary Ellen Mark on women is liberating: they dare to look beautiful and unhappy at the same time, squeezed and exhausted in the grip of the family frame – they even smoke in front of her camera, even while underage.
For over fifty years, Mary Ellen Mark worked as a documentary photographer creating vivid and intense photo essays on the realities of women in complex life situations. Her work ranged from capturing Mother Teresa’s activities with the Mission of Charity in Calcutta, to taking portraits of celebrities such as Candice Bergen, Lillian Gish and Etta James. She uses photography and film to passionately witness but also delve deeply into the lives of others as a way of embracing their humanity and sharing it with a larger audience.
The exhibition Mary Ellen Mark. The lives of Women presents photography, film and other material to explore the work that Mark carried out during the second half of the 20th century.