The Human Rights Campaign is proud to present artist Jeff Sheng’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” series as part of DC FotoWeek. This solo exhibition is the first to feature the photographs and stories of more than sixty servicemen and woman currently affected by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law; the law that requires gay, lesbian and bisexual service members to remain silent about who they are.
This exhibition is the culmination of Sheng’s travels across the United States to over 25 states during a two-year span from 2009-2010 to photograph the series. Utilizing the Internet and social networking, he connected with all of his subjects through his artist website and online word of mouth. The mutual trust formed in this process became crucial to the work: the service members counted on the artist not to reveal their actual identities.
HRC is excited to take part in this year’s FotoWeek DC, a weeklong event in Washington D.C. that celebrates the transformative power of photography through the exhibition of inspiring and provocative images, diverse programming and collaboration with the local and international community.
The exhibition at the HRC headquarters features twenty framed images, along with two artist books highlighting the portraits and individual stories of over sixty currently serving military personnel. The exhibit will be open to the public from Nov. 8 – 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at HRC headquarters; 1640 Rhode Island Ave NW. Additionally, HRC will host coffee with the artist Monday, Nov. 8 at noon, and take part in Night Gallery, during which Sheng’s images will be projected onto the exterior of the building, on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m. Both events are open to the public.