The Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson presents the dazzling work of American photographer Francesca Woodman (1958–1981). Rooted in constant exploration of herself and the medium, Woodman’s insightful, deeply intimate approach turned her photography into a second skin. In her images she made almost exclusive use of her own body: It’s a matter of convenience, she explained, I’m always available. Despite her premature passing at the age of twenty-two, Woodman left an impressive body of work. And while the pictures betray a host of influences ranging from Symbolism to Surrealism, her own talent was as prodigious as it was precocious.
Francesca Woodman explores her own image although her inspiration drives her to navigate into the photographic technic and the act of writing. Her staging in desolated rooms, the ghostly body presence in the middle of spaces in decay, of houses on the threshold of demolition outreached the pure self-portrait genre. Preps and setups disclose assumed surrealist influences, glasses, mirrors, peeling paint, ripped wallpaper. The body is to be fiddled with, fragmented until mingling with its environment and raises issues about metamorphosis and genre. These insolent and disconcerting images of a rare intensity arouse the ephemeral, the elusiveness of time.
The exhibition including a hundred prints, video and documents has been organized in collaboration with the Estate of Francesca Woodman in New York and Anna Tellgren, the curator.