The exhibition project Mighty Good Men investigates the complexity and plurality of masculinity. What is defined as masculine? What form and function do conceptions of masculinity have in a predominantly heteronormative culture? Working with various materials, Andrew J Burford and Constantin Hartenstein create images that move between softness and hardness, vulnerability and strength, stereotypes, ideals and personal intimacies.
Here, masculinity is understood to be a process-based and vulnerable state of being that must be constantly reconstructed and proven. Plural forms of masculinity are placed in contrast with a singular so-called toxic masculinity, which does not tolerate expressions of weakness and emotion. Mighty Good Men points towards the fragility of this traditional concept, which is increasingly demystified.
The artists consistently draw reference from moments of pop and subculture. In doing so, they grapple not only with dominant modes, but also with the bodily practices of queer masculinities. Complemented by an accompanying performance programm, the exhibition both investigates and challenges the constructed nature of gender in general, and masculinity in particular.