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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sally Mann Remains

Sally Mann remains one of my favorite artists. She gained a lot of attention with "Immediate Family" around the time that I became seriously interested in photography and I am glad to say that her images from that series mean as much to me today as they did then.
A few days ago I watched "What Remains: The Life and Art of Sally Mann" which developed out of the Academy Award nominated short "Blood Ties: The Life and Work of Sally Mann" by Steven Cantor.
Like Jhumpa Lahiri in her writing, Ms. Mann's work comes from the everyday and comments on universal themes such as family, death & life -- and does so with an unflinchingly romantic eye, which I find courageous in many ways.
In the movie the viewer sees Sally Man photographing her husband - something she has done since the beginning of their long relationship. She has not yet published these images and she refers to them as her 'artistic savings account'. From a glimpse at the work (via the documentary), I suspect it might turn out to be a body of work as moving & important or even more so than "Immediate Family".
I like that she chooses to photograph what she knows or is experiencing and I love her process. I like the 19th Century cameras and the now antiquated techniques of capture and printing she employs. To me that is what true photography will always be about: the processes and the capturing, enhancing & translating of what you see.
You can take a look at the trailer for 'What Remains' and youtube. The movie is available for rent or purchase.

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