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From Library Journal
This first major overview of Ess's photographic work, which also features supplemental drawings, video stills, and photographs of the artist's performances, highlights her stunning use of the pinhole camera. Large sections of uninterrupted full-page reproductions, many of which utilize brilliant hues of light and blurred images to create an otherworldly effect, capture simple frame houses, waterfalls, naked thighs, couples kissing, animals feeding, a snake in a living room, and other details of domestic and wild life. Even the images of the natural world seem to have a psychological component, which is brought to the fore in her video and performance work, as illustrated at the end of the book. In brief personal essays, writer Cunningham discusses science and the exploratory nature of Ess's art, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore talks about Ess's participation in New York's punk/no-wave music scene, and meditation teacher Guy Armstrong takes on the topic of perception in Ess's work. The writing by Ess herself is impressionistic, complementing the work if not explaining it. A short interview and extensive bibliography highlight the depth of her career. Recommended for all art photography collections. Carolyn Kuebler, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"Ess makes subtly toned photographs that are not so much reality as visionary versions of it."--Grace Gluck, The New York Times
A book of strange and affecting images that evoke both the sublime and the impossible
Barbara Ess is renowned for her unique use of the pinhole camera, and her effort to "photograph what cannot be photographed." These haunting images, made over the last twenty years, describe a mysterious world of seemingly mundane surfaces where everyday objects are mantled in inscrutability.
Ess's is a conscious quest to explore what she calls "ambiguous perceptual boundaries: between people, between the self and the not self, between in here and out there." Using a simple cardboard camera with no lens and a minute aperture, Ess creates unsettling, richly evocative photographs. I Am Not This Body probes the primary, personal experience, and depends on the viewer's imagination, instincts, and memories.