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01 Apr 2021

Virtual Insights: (Re)Turning the Gaze

Exploring notions of seeing and being seen, curators Karen Patterson and Ka-Man Tse join exhibition curator Valérie Rousseau in dialogue. This panel discussion will consider the concept of the gaze and its relation to gender, race, and sexuality. Examining a series of works by contemporary photographers and artists from the museum’s exhibition, PHOTO|BRUT: Collection Bruno Decharme & Compagnie, the speakers will expand on ideas around the body as a site of gendered negotiation, performance, and self-expression. Sophie Hackett, Curator of Photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario, will moderate.

Space is limited; advance registration is required. Please consider making a donation when you register to support ongoing virtual programming.

Instructions for joining with a Zoom link and password will be provided by email upon registration confirmation under “Additional Information.” Closed captioning will be provided in English. For questions or to request accessibility accommodations, please email

Karen Patterson joined the Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) as their inaugural curator in July 2019. Prior to this appointment, she was the Senior Curator at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) from 2012-19. Over the past eight years, Patterson has curated over fifty exhibitions, including major exhibitions such as Lenore Tawney: Mirror of The Universe, Ray Yoshida’s Museum of Extraordinary Values, and Ebony G.Patterson: Dead Treez, several critically-reviewed site-specific installations such as Joy Feasley and Paul Swenbeck: Out, Out, Phosphene Candle and Things are What We Encounter: Dr.Charles Smith + Heather Hart. Her focus at JMKAC was also geared towards curating the Arts Center’s premier collection of folk art, self-taught art, and artist environments. This work culminated in 2017 with a multi-tiered collaborative collections-based exhibitions series, The Road Less Traveled, which received praise by Hyperallergic as the year’s top exhibition. At FWM, Patterson is currently working with the following Artists-in-Residence: Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Jayson Musson, Elisabeth Kley, Rose B. Simpson, and Henry Taylor. Patterson completed her BA in folklore studies at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, and her MA in art administration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her many publications include Lenore Tawney: Mirror of the Universe (2019), Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: Mythologies (2017), Lee Godie: Self-Portraits (2015), and Ray Yoshida’s Museum of Extraordinary Values (2013).

Ka-Man Tse is an artist and educator. She received her MFA from Yale University and her BA from Bard College. Tse has exhibited her work at Para Site, Videotage, Lumenvisum, and Eaton Workshop in Hong Kong, the Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, PA, and the New York Public Library and Aperture in New York. She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships, including the Robert Giard Fellowship, the Aperture Portfolio Prize, the Aaron Siskind Fellowship, a research award from Yale University Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies, and a residency at Light Work. Her curatorial projects include Daybreak, co-curated with Matt Jensen at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art, and Unruly Visions, an exhibition of emerging LGBTQ photographers in Hong Kong opening in January 2021 as part of the Hong Kong International Photography Festival. In 2020, she exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum as part of Art on the Stoop: Sunset Screenings, as well as at the Houston Center for Photography in Keeper of the Hearth, curated by Odette England. Her monograph, narrow distances, was published in 2018 by Candor Arts. She has taught at Cooper Union, Yale School of Art, the City College of New York, and is currently Associate Director of BFA Photography at Parsons School for Design. 

Valérie Rousseau is Senior Curator of Self-Taught Art and Art Brut at the American Folk Art Museum. Since 2013, she has curated exhibitions on artists from various countries, including the AAMC’s award-winning When the Curtain Never Comes Down on performance art (2015), Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet (2015), and shows on Paa Joe (2019), William Van Genk (2014), Bill Traylor (2013), art brut photography (2019, 2021), and self-taught literature (2018). Rousseau holds a Ph.D. in art history from Université du Québec à Montréal and an MA in anthropology from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. She has authored various essays on arts emerging outside the art mainstream, from an international perspective, notably “Visionary Architectures” (The Alternative Guide to the Universe, Hayward Gallery, 2013), “Revealing Art Brut” (Culture & Musées, 2010), and Vestiges de l’indiscipline (Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2007).

Sophie Hackett is the Curator, Photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and adjunct faculty in Ryerson University’s master’s program in Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management. Hackett’s areas of specialty include vernacular photographs; photography in relation to queerness; and photography in Canada from the1960s to the 1990s. Her curatorial projects include Barbara Kruger: Untitled (It) (2010); Max Dean: Album, A Public Project (2012); What It Means To be Seen: Photography and Queer Visibility and Fan the Flames: Queer Positions in Photography (2014); Introducing Suzy Lake (2014); Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s–1980s (2016); Anthropocene (2018) and Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956–1971 (2020). Recent publications include “Queer Looking: Joan E. Biren’s Slide Shows” in Aperture (spring 2015), “Encounters in the Museum: The Experience of Photographic Objects” in the edited volume The “Public” Life of Photographs (Ryerson Image Centre and MIT Press, 2016), “Far and Near: New Views of the Anthropocene” in Anthropocene: Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier (AGO and Goose Lane, 2018); and “Bobbie in Context” in the award-winning Imagining Everyday Life: Engagements with Vernacular Photography (Steidl and The Walther Collection, 2020). Hackett was a 2017 Fellow with the Center for Curatorial Leadership.


Images: Groana Melendez, Untitled (Mona Lisa), 2015, Archival pigment print, 30 x 24”, Courtesy the artist; Marcel Bascoulard (1913, Vallenay, France—1978, Asnières-lès-Bourges, France), Pose 3, 29 mai 71, May 29, 1971, 5 1/8 x 3 1/2”, Gelatin silver print, American Folk Art Museum, New York, museum purchase with the support of Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris, 2019.19.3.

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. ET

Online; free with registration