Light Work will present “Scale Without Measure,” a solo exhibition by artist George Awde from March 20–July 27. Awde’s photographic work delves into themes of contemporary masculinity, the male body, homosexuality and notions of physical and psychological strength, as seen through young men that he identifies with.
The subjects that Awde has photographed for the last ten years, many of whom are now close friends, are also migrants from Beirut, Cairo and Syria. Awde establishes a close relationship with his subjects, creating an intimate portrayal of their culture, everyday life and relationships. His pictures explore the way that people interact with each other, and in them there is a sense of his subjects longing to belong. In this way, his photographs consider the notion of “home” as a deep struggle to feel due to the constant political conflict, mirrored by an internal one.
Awde’s parents were refugees who fled the Lebanese war to find safety and happiness in America, and ultimately to make way for a better life for their son. This is something that has always informed Awde’s perspective on the world and his place in it as he was growing up, as well as his practice as an artist and teacher. With the current refugee crisis reaching a boiling point across the globe, and the early executive orders of a new and contentious president to aggressively block refugees from entering the United States, it is evermore present.
A reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. April 14. Due to the current political turmoil, Awde has respectfully declined an invitation to attend his opening reception at Light Work to stand in solidarity with his Syrian friends. In lieu of a gallery talk, we will video chat with him during the reception on Friday, April 14 at 6 p.m. Awde will discuss his work on view and his reasons for choosing not to visit America for the foreseeable future.
Awde is a visual artist currently based in Doha, Qatar. He is the co-founder/co-director of marra.tein in Beirut, assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including those from the Aaron Siskind Foundation and a US Fulbright Scholar Grant.
Awde’s work explores the formation of kinship, masculinity, the “state,” and the self—as well as corporeality and how we reconcile ourselves in the world. He earned an M.F.A. in photography from Yale University, and a B.F.A. in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art. Awde participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program in July 2015.