Headline, July 27 2021/ PHOTOGRAPHY : ''' '' GREAT -WOMEN- GUSTS '' '''


 ''' '' GREAT -WOMEN- GUSTS '' '''


ART VIEW : PHOTOGRAPHY THROUGH HER EYES. Female authorship of great honours gives meaning to the images in an outstandingly inspired, and inspiring show.

A quite straight shot of the Chinese photojournalist Niu Weiyu may best capture what it really meant for the New Woman to start taking pictures. As snapped by her colleague Shu Ye, Niu stands perched with her camera at the edge of a cliff.

Every female photographer adapted this daredevil pose, at least in cultural terms, just by clicking a shutter.

Sometimes in the 1930s, the Hungarian photographer Anna Barna shot ''On looker,'' a picture of a boy standing on a chair seen from behind as he peers over a palisade. As his shadow stretches across the planks blocking his way, it takes the shape of a bearded profile that reads as a second ''onlooker'' in the shot.

A bit further off stands yet a third ''looker'' who, though quite invisible in the image, was very much present in the mind of any prewar viewer who saw the shot's photo credit : That looker is Anna Barna, woman who has dared to pick up the camera that would normally have been held by a man.

Like similar actions by all the camera-wielding of her era, Barna's bold move gave her a powerful cultural presence. That presence is on display in ''The New Woman Behind the Camera,'' an inspired and inspiring exhibition running through Oct2 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In late October, it will move to the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

Curated by Andrea Nelson, of the National Gallery, the show has been installed at the Met by Mia Fineman.

The more than 200 pictures on view, taken from the 1920s through the '50s, let us watch as women everywhere become photo pros. I guess some of their shots could have been snapped by men, but female authorship shaped what these images meant to their contemporaries it shapes what we make of them now, as we grasp the challenges their makers faced.

The Met shows women photographing factories, battles and the oppressed, but also gowns and children and other traditionally feminine subjects. Sometimes the goal is straight documentation : Figures like Dorothea Lange in the United States and Galina Sanko in the Soviet Union record the worlds they move through, often at the request of their governments.

But many of their sisters prefer the aggressive viewpoints and radical lighting of what was then called the New Vision, as developed at the Bauhaus and other hot spots of modern style. It was to sight to what jazz was to sound.

That made the New Vision a perfect fit for the New Woman, a term that went global early in the 20th century to describe all the many women who took on roles and responsibilities - new personas and even new powers - they'd rarely had before.

When a New Woman took up photography, she often turned her New Vision on herself, one of the modern world's most striking creations.

A self-portrait by the American photographer Alma Lavenson leaves out everything but her hands and the camera they're holding; the only thing we need to know is that Lavenson is in control of the machine, and therefore of the vision it captures.

The German photographer IIse Bing shoots into the hinged mirrors on a vanity, giving us both profile and head on views of her face and of the Lecia that almost hides it. Since antiquity, the mirror had been a symbol of woman and her vanities; Bing claims that old symbol for herself, making it yield a new image.

The mirror deployed by the German Argentine photographer Annemarie Heinrich is a silvered sphere; capturing herself and her sister in it, she depicts the fun-house pleasures, and distortions, of being woman made New.

Heinrich's European peers sometimes go further in disturbing their self-presentation. In ''Masked Self -Portrait [No 16],'' '' Gertrud Arndt double or maybe triple exposes her face, as though to convey the troubled identity she's taken on as a woman who dares to photograph.

[Multiple exposure is almost a hallmark of New Woman photographers; maybe that shouldn't surprise us.] In a collage titled ''I.O.U. [Self- Pride],'' the French photographer Claud Cahun presents herself as 11 different masked faces, surrounded by the words ''Under this mask, another mask. I'll never be done lifting off all these faces.''

It's as though the act of getting behind a camera turns any New Women into an ancestor and avatar of Cindy Sherman, trying on all sorts of models for gender.

If there's one problem with this show, it's that it mostly gives us women who succeeded in achieving the highest levels of excellence, barely hinting at the much greater number of women who were prevented from reaching their creative goals by the rampant sexism of their era.

Talented women whose places in a photo school were given to men instead, or who were streamed into the lowest or most feminine tiers of the profession - retouching, or cheap kiddie portraits - or who were never promoted above studio assistant.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on History, Brave Women, and Accomplishments, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Blake Gopnik.

With most respectful dedication to all the Women Photographers of the World, and then Students  Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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