Francesca Woodman [notes]

  • created a singular body of work
  • an artist who had barely entered adulthood
  • her favourite subject was herself, even when she first picked up a camera as a teenager
  • she was interested in decaying and decrepit interiors
  • the body is dematerialised, fades into the background with camouflage or blurred movement
  • there are rarely narratives but are mysterious
  • she approached female selfhood and sexuality from a deeply personal point of view, rather than political or programmatic
  • in 1981 at the age of 22 she committed suicide
  • she was interested in the female body, seriality, surrealism and photography’s relationship to both literature and performance
  • her suicide inevitably haunted all subsequent discussions about her work
  • she grew up surrounded by art and artists
  • mother ceramicist, father painter George woodman
  • born in 1958
  • she was exposed to a wide range of art
  • artists frequently visited her home
  • she experimented with drawing, but when she began photographing at age 13 with a camera given to her by her father, she showed immediate and sophisticated awareness of the problems and opportunities of the medium
  • her ideas were more fully formed than her fellow students, but she was also much more sophisticated about what it meant to be an artist
  • she regularly photographed herself and her friends in her studio, using the decay of the architecture as well as her rafts of tactile objects – furs, dead birds, ragged quilts- as actors in the enigmatic performances that she staged for the camera” pg 177
  • though she sometimes said that her sole motivation for appearing in her photographs was for convenience, it appears to have been rather more of a productive compulsion
  • her face is often obscured from the camera
  • work always tainted by her suicide and you cant help but think of the hints and signs of her negative mentality within her images

Untitled 1975-80 by Francesca Woodman 1958-1981

more info about image on link


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