04 The New Woman Behind The Camera

this one is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, so i have no excuses for failing to see it… i purchased the catalog a while back and am happy to be reminded to go see the exhibition… as i have mentioned in the past, all things camera and woman interest me… it’s my personal wormhole… don’t you have one?

04 Jenna Westra, Afternoons

Jena Westra, from Afternoons

… Brad Feuerhelm gives this book a highest recommendation, stating that it is as near perfect a photobook as could be… i recognize the name of the artist which makes it likely i’ve run across the work before…

In the case Jenna Westra’s Afternoons (Hassla, 2020), several factors within the book suggest a return to the body as an act less of political dialogue, but more as an act of balance. Westra employs gesture and a number of interesting sculptural tactics to create a world where the feminine is embraced without men involved at all and unlike Girl Pictures, the emphasis is not on fantasy, but on reality, collaboration, and intimacy.1

… the book is about the shape and form of women… young women… it feeds my rabbit hole… i ordered it…

03 Regarding the Pain of Others, Chapter 5, Susan Sontag

… Sontag talks about the “usefulness” of images of atrocities exhibited long after the atrocious can be punished for being atrocious… the example is a set of photographs of lynchings in the south, taken as souvenirs… why show them in the year 2000 when they were made 1890-1930?… what are we supposed to do with the information, with the consciousness they raise?…

The pictures were taken as souvenirs and made, some of them, into postcards; more than a few show grinning spectators, good churchgoing citizens as most of them had to be, posing for a camera with the backdrop of a naked, charred, mutilated body hanging from a tree. The display of these pictures makes us spectators, too.1

… will black and brown people be treated better now because we see these images now?, will we recognize just what brutes we are?, i am guessing that most who saw the exhibit or the book, Without Sanctuary, think of themselves as brutes, yet…

It was further argued that submitting to the ordeal should help us understand such atrocities not as the acts of “barbarians” but as the reflection of a belief system, racism, that by defining one people as less human than another legitimates torture and murder. But maybe they were barbarians. Maybe this is what most barbarians look like. (They look like everybody else.)2

… this is what gives me pause at our present moment in history, brutes are on the move, and they are us…


  1. Sontag, Susan. Regarding the Pain of Others (p. 91). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition. [return]
  2. . [return]

02 Regarding the Pain of Others, Chapter 5, Susan Sontag

… Sontag talking about the limited ability of a photograph to tell a story, to deliver understanding… they can shock, they can be pivotal moments for public opinion, but they don’t say much about the moments leading up to the moment in question… they define, but don’t explain… words, she tells us, explain…