Jennette Williams Duke University Press, 2009 Library of Congress TR681.W6W55 2009 | Dewey Decimal 779.24092
Jennette Williams’s stunning platinum prints of women bathers in Budapest and Istanbul take us inside spaces intimate and public, austere and sensuous, filled with water, steam, tile, stone, ethereal sunlight, and earthly flesh. Over a period of eight years, Williams, who is based in New York City, traveled to Hungary and Turkey to photograph, without sentimentality or objectification, women daring enough to stand naked before her camera. Young and old, the women of The Bathers inhabit and display their bodies with comfort and ease—floating, showering, conversing, lost in reverie.
To create the images in The Bathers, Williams drew on gestures and poses found in iconic paintings of nude women, including tableaux of bathers by Paul Cézanne and Auguste Renoir, renderings of Venus by Giorgione and Titian, Dominique Ingres’s Odalisque and Slave, and Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. By alluding to these images and others, Williams sought to reflect the religious and mythological associations of water with birth and rebirth, comfort and healing, purification and blessing. She also used copies of the paintings to communicate with her Hungarian- and Turkish-speaking subjects—homemakers, factory workers, saleswomen, secretaries, managers, teachers, and students. Working in steam-filled environments, Williams created quiet, dignified images that evoke not only canonical representations of female nudes but also early pictorial photography. At the same time, they raise contemporary questions about the gaze, the definition of documentary photography, and the representation and perception of beauty and femininity, particularly as they relate to the aging body. Above all else, her photos are sensuously evocative. They invite the viewer to feel the steam, hear the murmur of conversation, and reflect on the allure of the female form.
A CDS Book Published by Duke University Press and the Center for Documentary Photography
Clementina, Viscountess Hawarden (1822–1865) produced over eight hundred photographs during her all-too-brief life. Most of these were portraits of her adolescent daughters. By whisking away the furniture and bric-a-brac common in scenes of upper-class homes of the Victorian period, Lady Hawarden transformed the sitting room of her London residence into a photographic studio—a private space for taking surprising photos of her daughters in fancy dress. In Carol Mavor’s hands, these pictures become windows into Victorian culture, eroticism, mother-daughter relationships, and intimacy. With drama, wit, and verve, Lady Hawarden’s girls, becoming women, entwine each other, their mirrored reflections and select feminine objects (an Indian traveling cabinet, a Gothic-style desk, a shell-covered box) as homoerotic partners. The resulting mise-en-scène is secretive, private, delicious, and arguably queer—a girltopia ripe with maternality and adolescent flirtation, as touching as it is erotic. Luxuriating in the photographs’ interpretive possibilities, Mavor makes illuminating connections between Hawarden and other artists and writers, including Vermeer, Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Lewis Carroll, and twentieth-century photographers Sally Mann and Francesca Woodman. Weaving psychoanalytic theory and other photographic analyses into her work, Mavor contemplates the experience of the photograph and considers the relationship of Hawarden’s works to the concept of the female fetish, to voyeurism, mirrors and lenses, and twins and doubling. Under the spell of Roland Barthes, Mavor’s voice unveils the peculiarities of the erotic in Lady Hawarden’s images through a writerly approach that remembers and rewrites adolescence as sustained desire. In turn autobiographical, theoretical, historical, and analytical, Mavor’s study caresses these mysteriously ripped and scissored images into fables of sapphic love and the real magic of photography.
Malek Alloula University of Minnesota Press, 1986 Library of Congress HQ1791.5.A7613 1986 | Dewey Decimal 305.40965
A collection of picture postcards of Algerian women exploited by the French, this "album" illustrates a powerful analysis of the distorting, denigrating effects of their presence on Algerian Society.
"Imprisoned by the photographers eye these women reclaim their historicity through the pages of this powerful book. The Colonial Harem deserves a central place in the growing literature of decolonization." --Village Voice
"Alloula gathers up the impedimenta of empire in the form of (mainly) lewd French postcards of Algerian women which circulated between 1900 and 1930. By displaying and dissecting colonial pornography as an insider he brings into stark relief the violation of the patriarchal gaze at its harshest." --Women's Review of Books
"A shocking photographic excursion into the European fascination with the harem." --Whole Earth Review
"In The New Woman International, editors Elizabeth Otto and Vanessa Rocco have gathered a group of intellectually stimulating and provocative essays that present the emergence, both tentative and triumphant, of this new global icon and her increasingly multicultural image. Written largely by historians of art and film, these essays emphasize visual analysis of the photographic and film media that carried the new woman's influential message."
---Norma Broude, American University
"The New Woman International focuses on the New Woman not simply as an image to be analyzed but also as a producer of images and text. This groundbreaking anthology represents a theoretically sophisticated set of essays that thoroughly examine the phenomenon of the New Woman in previously unexplored ways."
---Sarah E. Chinn, Hunter College, CUNY
Images of flappers, garçonnes, Modern Girls, neue Frauen, and trampky---all embodiments of the dashing New Woman---symbolized an expanded public role for women from the suffragist era through the dawn of 1960s feminism. Chronicling nearly a century of global challenges to gender norms, The New Woman International: Representations in Photography and Film from the 1870s through the 1960s is the first book to examine modern femininity's ongoing relationship with the nineteenth and twentieth centuries' most influential new media: photography and film. This volume examines the ways in which novel ideas about women's roles in society and politics were disseminated through these technological media, and it probes the significance of radical changes in female fashion, appearance, and sexual identity. Additionally, these original essays explore the manner in which New Women artists used photography and film to respond creatively to gendered stereotypes and to reconceive of ways of being a woman in a rapidly modernizing world.
The New Woman International brings together different generations of scholars and curators who are experts in gender, photography, literature, mass media, and film to analyze the New Woman from her inception in the later nineteenth century through her full development in the interwar period, and the expansion of her forms in subsequent decades. Arranged both chronologically and thematically, these essays show how controversial female ideals figured in discourses including those on gender norms, race, technology, sexuality, female agency, science, media representation, modernism, commercial culture, internationalism, colonialism, and transnational modernity. In exploring these topics through images that range from montages to newspapers' halftone prints to film stills, this book investigates the terms of gendered representation as a process in which women were as much agents as allegories. Inaugurating a new chapter in the scholarship of representation and New Womanhood and spanning North America, Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, and the colonial contexts of Africa and the Pacific, this volume reveals the ways in which a feminine ideal circled the globe to be translated into numerous visual languages.
With a foreword from the eminent feminist art historian Linda Nochlin, this collection includes contributions by Jan Bardsley, Matthew Biro, Gianna Carotenuto, Melody Davis, Kristine Harris, Karla Huebner, Kristen Lubben, Maria Makela, Elizabeth Otto, Martha H. Patterson, Vanessa Rocco, Clare I. Rogan, Despina Stratigakos, Brett M. Van Hoesen, Kathleen M. Vernon, and Lisa Jaye Young.
DIGITALCULTUREBOOKS: a collaborative imprint of the University of Michigan Press and the University of Michigan Library
An intimate look into three Victorian photo-settings, Pleasures Taken considers questions of loss and sexuality as they are raised by some of the most compelling and often misrepresented photographs of the era: Lewis Carroll’s photographs of young girls; Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographs of Madonnas; and the photographs of Hannah Cullwick, a "maid of all work," who had herself pictured in a range of masquerades, from a blackened chimney sweep to a bare-chested Magdalene. Reading these settings performatively, Carol Mavor shifts the focus toward the subjectivity of these girls and women, and toward herself as a writer. Mavor’s original approach to these photographs emphatically sees sexuality where it has been previously rendered invisible. She insists that the sexuality of the girls in Carroll’s pictures is not only present, but deserves recognition, respect, and scrutiny. Similarly, she sees in Cameron’s photographs of sensual Madonnas surprising visions of motherhood that outstrip both Victorian and contemporary understandings of the maternal as untouchable and inviolate, without sexuality. Finally she shows how Hannah Cullwick, posing in various masquerades for her secret paramour, emerges as a subject with desires rather than simply a victim of her upper-class partner. Even when confronting the darker areas of these photographs, Mavor perseveres in her insistence on the pleasures taken—by the viewer, the photographer, and often by the model herself—in the act of imagining these sexualities. Inspired by Roland Barthes, and drawing on other theorists such as Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray, Mavor creates a text that is at once interdisciplinary, personal, and profoundly pleasurable.