I came across this exhibition quite by accident as it was in the Mainspace gallery right next to the Grunt Gallery where I was viewing another exhibition. So while I was there anyway I decided to check it out.
Wendy D (that seems to be the name she goes by) is a professional photographer, based in Vancouver, Canada.
The room was literally plastered ceiling to floor (almost) with 5 x 7 prints in black and white of people screaming followed by their reaction afterwards. Photographer Wendy D states that this project was initiated by a fellow artist who felt the need to scream and she took the photograph. This was her inspiration to start this 10 year long project in which she has documented over 200 people. “That got me thinking about the complexities of scream both as an individual act and the constraints society imposes on the expression of it”, she states on her website. The exhibition could almost be classified as a typology of the scream.
It is really interesting to view the different expressions on people’s faces as they scream and then the hilarity that follows the release of the pent up frustration. The different muscles that are engaged in the body when a person screams are also worth noting. Tendons bulge in the neck, straining to break free, muscles bunch in the chest and arms. Frown marks appear creasing the skin, while eyebrows bunch together or move skyward on the facial planes.
In contrast, once that release is out, the subjects erupt into laughter and the facial muscles soften the contours of their faces. The mood changes instantaneously. The person is relaxed. Some subjects really get into the experiment, while others are a little more contained in their screams, and this is really evident when looking at the laughing image afterwards. Those who gave the scream their all, ended up laughing more too.
This was a fun and very lighthearted exhibition to view delivering many chuckles as we went around the room.
Wendy D (2016) Scream the exhibition (online) Available at: http://www.wendyd.ca/scream-the-exhibition/ [Accessed 18 April, 2016]