Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Family & The Land

The Family & The Land
The Family & The Land
The retrospective The Family & The Land: Sally Mann includes photographs from Mann's Deep South, Faces, Immediate Family, and What Remains series. The exhibition opened at The Photographers' Gallery (London) on 18th June, and will close on 19th September.

The Deep South images, which use the antique collodian photographic process to memorialise the landscape, appear historical and even ethereal. The Faces series, close-up portraits of Mann's children resembling serene Victorian death masks, are also collodian photographs; like the Deep South landscapes, their misty atmosphere and sepia tone remove any sense of modernity.

Death is evoked by Deep South and Faces, though What Remains confronts it directly, as Mann records the decomposition of corpses in a Tennessee woodland. Immediate Families, Mann's most notorious work, includes nude portraits of her children which (like images by Nan Goldin, Bill Henson, and Richard Prince) were highly controversial when they were originally exhibited.

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