Child Acrobat in her Circus Trailer, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2008
Opened September 8, “Remarkable Women” invites Bostonians to explore 2020 Leica Women Foto Project winner Yana Paskova and photographer Mary Ellen Marks’ exquisite images that portray a diverse female perspective and voice. Marks, who has been a leading documentary photographer for over 30 years, has captured everything from runaways in Seattle to brothels in India during her worldwide travels. Spend an hour, or two, in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel’s Leica Store & Gallery (bostonparkplaza.com) absorbing powerful, groundbreaking and truthful photographs that highlight the universal inner strength of women. Here, Kiran Karnani, vice president of marketing for Leica Camera North America, shares more about the exhibit and its inspiration.
Amanda and Her Cousin Amy Valdese, North Carolina, 1990
What is the inspiration behind this women-focused exhibit?
“Each year, Leica Camera USA sponsors the Leica Women Foto Project (LWFP), a platform that serves to empower the female perspective and its impact on today’s visual stories. The Leica Women Foto Project encourages diversity and inclusion in visual storytelling to amplify voices typically underrepresented in photography, discovering the breadth of shapes formed by a single story. As we prepare to announce the next iteration of the 2023 Leica Women Foto Project (LWFP), we wanted to continue to pay homage to this important initiative in our only east coast Gallery in Boston.”
Why did you choose to feature Yana and Mary Ellen?
“Yana Paskova’s series, 'Where Women Rule' is the perfect complement to the work featured in Mark’s 'Remarkable Women.' Like Mark, Paskova’s work also depicts women in situations which combine unique aesthetics with a strong narrative, style and meaning, whether in historic context or just beyond the surface of mundanity.”
What can visitors expect from the exhibit?
“Each artist’s work is clearly defined, and yet speak to the parallels in composition for creating those connections to those from the fringes of society, speaking volumes for those who would not normally have a voice. Each image evokes sympathy though the lens of objectivity.”
What do you love most about this exhibit?
“Each visitor can find differing elements to love from this exhibit. The images are powerful in that they provide an unexpected beauty with a desire to ponder, wanting to know more about each subject. Mark’s most famous work focuses on people experiencing adverse conditions in various situations. The images capture the moods of these subjects on film. The same could be said of Paskova’s work in which expressions reflect certain societal aesthetics and concerns. Both artists embody the life and souls of their subjects.”
Photography by: Mary Ellen Mark