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Space˛, Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-1978
Gelatin silver print
13.9 x 13.9 cm (image) 25.2 x 20.2 cm (sheet)
National Galleries of Scotland
Acc. No. AR00349, © Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman
(Curatorial caption, accessed 23 November 2014)
Woodman is as vague as the shadows that surround her in this haunting self-portrait. The work forms part of a series entitled ‘Space2’, taken while studying at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island between 1975 and 1978. The series explores various ways of concealing or flattening her form, reminding the viewer that all photographs are distortions of reality. Woodman uses a prolonged exposure to create an ethereal, transcendental quality in the tradition of Surrealism. The photograph is not a self-portrait in the conventional sense, as it explores the possibilities of representation instead of revealing the artist’s identity.