Problem set 2: Francesca Woodman

This week we have to make a Francesca Woodman work. Francesca Woodman was a young prodigy American photographer who committed suicide at 22.
Her work consists of black and white photos, almost all featuring nude females (mostly self-portraits) with props, in settings like abandoned houses and buildings. At first I thought her work was too angsty for my tastes, but I think that view was also coloured by my knowledge that she had commited suicide.

Upon closer examination of her work, I found there was some very interesting intellectual themes she explored in her photography.
Like how she portrays constraint. In some photos she tries to contort herself to fit into glass cabinets or between gaps in architecture.
And in other photos, she uses long exposures to almost disappear from existence, leaving behind just a stain.

Francesca Woodman treats the body as a sculptural form and produces these amazing Surrealistic-influenced shots.

At first I tried some shots at the abandoned woodshed on our property. I had a much better shot than this but Mark thinks it’s too risque for the web.

And then I tried some in the barn with a self-timer on the tripod. I got a lot of grazes and scrapes from flinging myself down on the ground just in time to get in frame and then scampering up halfway during the exposure.

And of course I had a few better shots in this series but the husband has censored them.

I got some good feedback from this series, people really seemed to like the disappearing body. And my arse got a fair few comments too.

Next week – Cindy Sherman.

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