Jason Hanasik is a CCA grad student that came and spoke at one of the Mills lunchtime lectures. He talked about how in this image of his mother and father entitled “Jeff and Jackie Hanasik,” his father exhibits body-language that transgresses traditional (stoic) maleness.
These transgressions are a theme in his later work dealing with his friends in the Marines. That body of work—the “He Opened Up Somewhere Along the Eastern Shore” one was deeply rooted in the personal experiences he had with these stoic, straight men who broke down in his presence in several instances.
Back to the family photographs, at one point I think someone asked if his family objected to any of the photographs of them and he responded that he didn’t think his family understood the images (though his father did object to one in particular, so Hanasik doesn’t show it). The whole visual literacy/being able to “get it” reminded me of questions brought up by the Shelby Lee Adams video.
Other things: there were some images—particularly some of his photographs of spaces in parks which doubled as locations for gay-men-hooking-up and also homeless camps but didn’t look like much more than some broken sticks and stuff—relied heavily on the context and an explanation of what they were about for the viewer to understand them. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing, just something I noticed. In general I admired his ability to recognize potentially problematic stuff in his own work and to contextualize it.