Monday, 20 September 2010

Popsicle Drips

I refer to the following;

Sally Mann's 'Popsicle Drips', 1985
Herta Hilscher-Wittgenstein, ' Toni, October' 1975
Edward Weston's , 'Torso of Neil' 1925

All intertwining with another, a concoction that to my mind raises questions of who is conscious of who's, or subconsciously aware of, or even oblivious to.

Chronologically speaking the most recent is indeed Sally Mann's depiction of her son entitled 'Popsicle Drips' and I have purposely not added the image to the blog site, and perhaps this is where the interest or strength in Mann's repertoire lies. For me the image is just too explicit, the cropping not as forgiving as the
'Torso of Neil'/ 'Toni October'. In addition Weston's images evokes the figure of a statue and gives Neil this sculptural and elevated persona. As with 'Toni' the photograph exists to document her illness with cancer and the bodily changes inflicted by the operations, though they are of course done in an aesthetic manner.

Mann has deliberately decided to expose her son and this can only support the views that her work has strong exploitative undercurrents. When I saw the recent show at the Photographers Gallery the depictions of her children from 'Immediate Family' did not disturb me, for me she was simply shooting, as she says the things most readily available to her; her family....Naturally they are considered, staged shots. But they did not challenge me as much as 'Popsicle Drips'.
This image coincidentally was not in the show. Funny that

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