Thursday, March 4, 2010

Daily Practice 63/365

Title: "The Golden Mean"
(click to view larger)

Ruth Bernhard talks in her (auto)biography without any sense of  irony of the fact that shortly after she had to stop making photographs in 1976, she started to get some significant recognition of her contributions to photography, along with a number of other women photographers. She goes on to talk about a winter term in 1982 that she spent with Lotte Jacobi and Barbara Morgan at Northwestern University in Illinois. They visited various classes to talk about art, seeing, photography and by the end of term had gathered quite a following of devotees - they used to have quite the entourage whenever they walked across campus.

I marveled at that sense of "small world" while reading the story. In 1982 we were working and studying at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, just a few hours south of Northwestern University. I must confess at that time I knew nothing of Ruth Bernhard, Lotte Jacobi or Barbara Morgan. But during a visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario, I was quite taken by images made by both Jacobi and Morgan that were on exhibit, and subsequently acquired a small book of photos each had made. Ruth Bernhard is someone whose work I've just become acquainted with quite recently. So in the wonderful fantasy time-shifted reality of the imagination, I was struck by how close I had been in 1982 to perhaps meeting these three photographers, or seeing their work, as I read this story in the Bernhard biography.

Jacobi made a lovely series of photograms she called photogenic drawings. I wanted to make an image tonight along those lines, but instead it seems I challenged the surrealist work of Man Ray and "rayograms".

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