Wheelchair Tornadoes & other things our eyes cannot see

Ric Wilson
News Type

MFA Exhibition of Dianna Temple

May 10-13, 2021 

George Caleb Bingham Gallery 
University of Missouri-Columbia 

Bingham Gallery is delighted to host the thesis exhibition of Dianna Temple. Her show was slated to be on display in March 2020, and was put on hold due to the global pandemic. We now welcome Temple back to install her work as it was originally meant to be shown in 2020! 

Images of people with disabilities are often empathetic, inspirational, or bring into question the power dynamics between the photographer and the subject. The media frequently relies on safe images or tropes of disabled people to avoid criticism. They use overcoming narratives that evade the experience of having a disability to uphold an able-bodied ideal. Within an art context, there is an assumption that photographs of disabled people by non-disabled photographers exploit. If this is true, then disabled people become off- limits in terms of subject matter to able-bodied photographers in fear of exploitation. As a result, conversations that should include disabled people remain absent, or unchanged. 

In January of 2019, Matt Ebert volunteered to be photographed with a 4x5 view camera. Together Temple & Ebert make performative photographs that are playful, not somber to resist an aggressive documentary style that hinges on revealing a truth, or tragedy by replacing it with tableau. Making Wheelchair Tornadoes reveal invisibilities of motion that visually merge Matt’s body with his power wheelchair. As an able-bodied photographer, Temple attempts to see social constructs of disability in our world, and its relationship to the body to highlight invisibilities between people with and without disabilities. Also, Temple aims to create imagery that can build a new conversation that include people with disabilities in the photographic archive.