22 September 2015
Francesca Woodman built up an archive of almost a thousand photographs over a very short period of time, before committing suicide at the age of just twenty-two. The pictures are all very similar. In them we see a delicate body, her own or that of some other woman, concealed or transformed by its interaction with a shabby domestic space multiplied by mirrors and sheets of wallpaper. In these simple variations on the theme we seem to find a mixture of Victorian imagery, Surrealist techniques and statements of a feminist character; but who knows how she would have described them. After all she was very young, had shown a few prints here and there, between Italy and America, and just two years after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1978, was only with difficulty beginning to find an opening in the profession as a model or assistant photographer. And yet her work was already so personal it was universal, according to Anne Tellgren, curator of the exhibition On Being an Angel devoted to her by the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. The museum, one of the most highly regarded in Europe, has put together a hundred and two prints: from her self-portrait at the age of thirteen, with her hair covering her face and dressed unashamedly in a boy’s clothes, to the Angel Series and her final experiments with the diazo process. And there is a video, perhaps her least-known and most emotional work, in which Francesca writes her name and comes back to life again. After Stockholm, the exhibition will move in 2016 and 2017 to Amsterdam (Foam Photography Museum), Paris (Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson) and Malmö (Moderna Museet).
Francesca Woodman. On Being an Angel
A cura di Anna Tellgren
5 settembre > 6 dicembre 2015