Assembly presents "Ursula" by Hannah Whitaker. Inspired by science fiction tropes like digital servants and sex robots gendered as female, this project playfully critiques how the male gaze has created “female” service-oriented machines even in the AI assistants that many of us employ in our daily lives. These straight studio shots are mostly of the artist’s friend who becomes “Ursula,” named after the most famous Ursulas— the Sea Witch in the Little Mermaid, feminist sci-fi writer, Ursula K. Le Guin, and sex symbol Ursula Andress. At once retro and futuristic, these photographs reflect the vernacular of the tech industry and the stereotypical “women” that this male-dominated space creates. This work was published as a photobook in 2021 in collaboration with writers Dawn Chan and David Levine. Levine writes, “The world asked for me to be this way. Highly reflective…Nonporous. A contemporary saint, my body covered in USB ports, surrounded by photographers. Click click click click click."


Hannah Whitaker is a New York-based artist who explores the visual signs of our daily lives in her pattern-driven work. Her solo exhibitions include Cold Wave at M+B, Los Angeles; Verbs and The Fifth Hammer at Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris; The Use of Noise at Thierry Goldberg, New York and Limonene at Locust Projects, Miami. Other group shows include those at Casey Kaplan, New York; Galerie Xippas, Paris; Flowers Gallery, London; Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles; Higher Pictures, New York; Tokyo Institute of Photography and Rencontres d’Arles in France, where she was nominated for the Discovery Prize. In 2014 her work was selected for inclusion in the prestigious photography exhibition Foam Talent in Amsterdam. Whitaker has been featured in Frieze Magazine, Modern Painters, Time Magazine, Huffington Post, Libération and Art Review.