Entries by tag: women en large

Body: My Photograph Juror's Choice in Budapest Exhibition
(cross-posted on Body Impolitic)

I was delighted when I heard that my photograph Debbie Notkin and Tracy Blackstone from Women En Large was the juror's choice in Body, an international photography exhibition at the PH1 Gallery in Budapest, curated by Zsolt Bátori. One of the reasons in that the overall quality of the exhibition is thoughtful and excellent.

From PH21:

It is always inspiring to see how photographers approach an exhibition theme from different creative angles. Photographic depictions of the human body range from the aesthetic through the documentary to mystic uncertainty, renewing, commenting on or criticizing received modes of expression…

The human body has been the central subject of various photographic genres. From documentary, event and street photography to fashion photography and the nude, photographers have always found ways of constructing images in which the specific portrayal of the human body gains significance. That significance may stem from the rich layers of meanings emerging from specific socio-cultural contexts, the visual interaction of the human body with the surrounding physical space, or the intriguing compositional possibilities offered by the body itself. Some explore movements, study expressive gestures and postures, some concentrate on the anatomical beauty, some narrate whole lives through the depiction of the human body. Others may offer stern visual criticism of our normative conceptions of the human body and the ways it is portrayed in mainstream Western media.

I read the juror's critique of my photograph this evening and it's one of the most sensitive and perceptive commentaries I've received on a photograph.

Laurie Toby Edison’s Debbie Notkin & Tracy Blackstone is the juror’s choice of this exhibition. This complex image incorporates several layers of photographic meaning. Our initial reaction to the calm composition might be to contemplate the symmetry of the image and the captivating texture of the curtain that takes up a significant portion of the photograph, providing an excellent nonfigurative background for the shapes of the two women on the couch. The lighter inner part of the two sides of the curtain lead our eyes down to the two figures emerging from the darker shades of the blanket on the couch. As we are drawn to the faces, it might even take some time to realize that the two bodies are in the nude. Indeed, it is one of the most powerful aspects of this image that nudity is portrayed in such a “natural” and subdued manner that it goes without saying – almost even without registering on our perception. It may take some extra effort to understand why the nudity of the figures is not more salient, despite also being an identifying thematic and visual feature of the photograph. The secret might lie in the bright serenity in the look of the two women. Their expressions are filled with such joy and peacefulness that the image simply washes all received – and often oppressively reinforced – social conceptions of the human body light years away. Social criticism is delivered in a serious, beautifully composed but at the same time effortlessly cheerful photograph.

Off in the Morning
Leaving in the morning. As always, bless my cat sitter.

I have 3 photos in the art show 2 of Bernadette Bosky from Women En Large (she's one of the guests of honor), and one of Samuel R. Delany from Familiar Men. His is the photo that was in the National Queer Arts Festival exhibition that closed recently.

I'm moderating the panel "Fat, Feminism and Fandom Revisited." How have things changed since fannish feminists and fat activists first started this panel series? What did it accomplish, within fandom and outside of it? Panelists are Rachael Acks, Arthur D. Hlavaty, Eva Whitley and Bernadette Bosky. It's pretty close to the 30th anniversary of the first panel that Debbie Notkin and I did in 1984 in Los Angeles.

Conversation will be about the history both in fandom and the larger world, and also very much about now.

I think I've mentioned that I'm going to be able to go to the Sojourner Truth Museum on Tuesday in Battle Creek and see the archive of her photographs. This started with this blog on Body Impolitic "Sojourner Truth: I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance" Geri Sullivan wrote that she might be able to have me see the archives and that's what happened!!

"Sojourner Truth, according to the Willis/Krauthamer book Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans And the End of Slavery, understood the power of photography, and actively distributed photographs of herself:

“Those pictures were meant to affirm her status as a sophisticated and respectable “free woman and as a woman in control of her image.” The public’s fascination with small and collectible card-mounted photographs, allowed her to advance her abolitionist cause to a huge audience and earn a living through their sale. “I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance,” proclaimed the famous slogan for these pictures."

I'll write about seeing the archive when I get back.

Still have boxes to rope and tape. Really looking forward to seeing folks in Detroit.

Bronze With Opals
The brilliant ammonite with orange sapphires tree design is set and finished, as is the black jade with the magnesium flowers.
They are for Bayla Fine's collection and I'm mailing them to her early this week.  I'm sorry I won't be there to see her open the package.

I did take photos .  The ammonite photo is great and shows both the design and the incredible colors in the stone. The black jade photo is only OK.  The flowers have a flashing chatoyance that's hard to capture.  It's stunning in person.

I've been working on my first bronze commission in a very long time (now that I'm working in bronze again).  It's for elisem and I've been working on it for quite a while.  It's done and I'm thrilled with it.  It's set with 3 orange Mexican opals and 4 small very colorful Australian opals.  I'm bringing it to her at Wiscon, so if you're there you should be able to see it on her.  I'm really looking forward to that.

Jewelry is well on it's way to being finished.  I'm also working on a group of photos of wild_irises from Women En Large for the Art Show.  I wanted to do something special since she is a guest of honor.  And I'm delighted that blogs from Body Impolitic, as well as a few of my photos, will be included in the guests of honor book Impolitic.

Mood: Driven

The Allure of the Collection
I'm back from Norwescon.  I saw lots of people I don't see enough of, and I had a lovely visit to Seattle spring. There were many  amazing cherry trees.

I'm posting now because as I write, the Allure of the Collection is opening at the National Museum in Osaka. Its the celebratory 35th anniversary exhibition of the National Museum of Art in Osaka.  I'm thrilled that I have six photographs in the exhibition (two from Women En Large and four from Familiar Men). And I very much appreciate the care they took with the accompanying text.

The exhibition is in two parts and presents some 350 works by approximately 150 artists from the museum's collection of over 6,300 items. The first part will introduce a wide range of contemporary art from the 20th and 21st century by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Giorgio Morandi, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Yayoi Kusama, and Yoshitomo Nara.

The second part, the photography exhibition that includes my work, is contemporary photographs chosen from works that the museum has acquired since the mid-'90s. It consists of a diverse selection of works from both Japan and abroad.
The exhibition catalogue includes my photograph Bob Guter.

I received my invitation to the opening a couple of weeks ago and I wish I could be there.  I was talking to my friend Rebecca Jennison today in Kyoto on Skype.  She will be taking a group of her students from Kyoto Seika University to the exhibition today and hopefully I'll get pictures. (if they're good enough I'll post them.)

Having my work in the museum twice in the last few months is wonderful.

Photo For The New Year

I think this photo of Queen T'hisha from Women En Large is a beautiful way to start 2011.

Queen T'hisha: I was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. I found out I was a girl at age eight. I found out I was African-American at age fourteen. I was told I was fat at age twenty. I had been a professional dancer for four years. I had auditioned and gotten accepted by a dance company, but was not allowed to perform because "they" said I was fat. But I was so obviously talented they accepted me into the company. What a crock of shit.

Being fat only marginally impacted my life until I went to college and interacted with the white majority. As I tried to assimilate, my naïveté continued to turn the survival Rubik’s Cube over and over.  Racism and sexism as practiced in America included body hostilities. I didn't grow up with the belief that fat women were to be despised. The women in my family were fat, smart, sexy, employed, wanted, married, and the rulers of their households.

I had plenty of romantic relationships with people raised outside this society, or who didn’t adhere to its sexist standards of beauty. They affirmed my sanity and gave me a worldly perspective, not one limited by white racist misogynist American culture. I'm tall, African-Nature, fat, smart, and deserve all the things I want.     

Best for the New Year.

Please note the image of the labradorite pendant in the previous post (which mysteriously disappeared) is now back up- check it out.

Nudes for the Holidays
I should have posted this sooner but not feeling well and wax obsession meant I didn't.

As we said on Body Impolitic.: We had a such wonderful response to last year’s holiday sale of Laurie’s books of photography (Women en Large: Images of Fat Nudes and Familiar Men: A Book of Nude) with Debbie’s text, that we thought we’d offer the same price again this year ,
(usually $25 plus mailing and the sale is $15 including US Mailing.) . It means a lot to us that Nudes for the Holidays pleased so many people. Check it out.

Thanks again for all the kind words about the nova.

The exploding flowers have turned into a real pop art piece and will include the word "POW" in the design. Yes there will be a photo.



Log in