Issue 39 — Summer 2004
Photographs are often said to be 'transparent' and equated to the experience of seeing. This is an inviting comparison because of the similarity between cameras and eyes but it also conceals the process of framing a picture and the various inversions and reflections that occur through optical devices. Jane Fletcher, writing about Roger Fenton and Stephen Shore, draws our attention to the transformative component of photographic picture making with a large format camera by looking at pictures upside down as they would have been seen on a camera's ground glass.
David Campany meanwhile has a number of examples of pictures being flipped horizontally. Although we frequently meet our own reversed image in the mirror this transformation is only rarely recognised when pictures appear in reproduction. It appears that despite photoraphy's much vaunted 'realism' the world could be reproduced back to front and we would not notice.
Medical pratice and people's attitudes to childbirth have changed in the last two decades. Elina Jokipii's work investigates some of these changes. She has interviewed a number of women of different ages asking them to describe their experiences and the choices they were given. Each of the women were then asked to re-enact the position in which they gave birth and were photographed accordingly.
Mirjana De La Cour's staged photographs of her husband use household items as props and costume accessories in a series of unexplained portraits. The improvised proceedings move between the humorous and the potentially disturbing as her husband assumes a number of guises.
Sara Davidmann's new work continues her collaboration with individuals crossing gender boundaries in different ways. The images reveal how the body is transformed through a sex-change. Different stages of transition are represented as well as individuals who have decided to exist outside the polarities of male and female.
— The Editors