Opening April 9 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Unsettled: Photography And Politics In Contemporary Art presents work by nine artists who used photography to address some of the most controversial political and social issues of the late 1970s through the early 1990s, including feminism, racism, the AIDS crisis and gay activism.

Featuring works by major photographers Robert Mapplethorpe, Peter Hujar, Zoe Leonard, Andres Serrano, Lorna Simpson and Carrie Mae Weems, among others, Unsettled examines the historical reasons why many artists made highly controversial photo-based works in the 1980s, and invites viewers to consider why some of this art still causes much public debate and controversy today.

The exhibition was prompted by and is intended to place into a historical context the recent controversy surrounding the removal of a 1987 David Wojnarowicz film from an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the latest of a series of controversies involving the public display of “unsettling” photographic works.

Note: as its title, Unsettled, suggests, some of the images in this exhibition are “unsettling” and may elicit strong reactions in viewers. With this in mind, parents may want to preview the exhibition before deciding whether to introduce it to their children.

Unsettled: Photography and Politics in Contemporary Art
When: April 9–August 21
Where: Perelman Building, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Fairmount and Pennsylvania Avenues
Cost: Adults $8, Seniors (65+) $7, Students $6, Children (13-18) $6, (12 and under) Free
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Philadelphia Museum of Art Announces Unsettled: Photography and Politics in Contemporary Art