My House, Providence, Rhode Island, 1976

Photo: Courtesy Woodman Family Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Gelatin silver print (2008)
41.8 x 41.8 x 2 cm (framed)

Throughout her short yet prolific period of artistic production, ending at age twenty-two when she took her own life, Francesca Woodman continuously explored the genre of self-portraiture through photography. Exclusively shot in black and white film, her photographs wrestle with capturing the female body, oscillating between nudity and veiling, transparency and opacity, as well as stasis and movement. Woodman appears in most of her shots, at times in fragments, covered, refracted through mirrors or blurred due to movement and long exposures. Staged in often empty or semi-abandoned rooms, the body of the artist or of her female models mold into the spaces that frame them, often to the point of dissolution. 

In My House, Providence, Rhode Island, the female body is staged in a position of exposure and withdrawal, a mode of representation that is to become a feminist canon in the art of the following decades. Here, a model—or perhaps the artist herself—wearing black gloves and wrapped head to toe in plastic foil stands in a corner of a dilapidated room, facing the wall. Like a cocoon, the plastic sheet functions as a protection, isolating the woman from her surroundings. Woodman diverts the attention away from the body toward the room and the setting where the body is staged. The spaces in her photographs are rooms she carved out for her self: they become the mise-en-scène or extension of her interiority, even when the body of the artist is absent. 


Group show: Remedios
Venue: C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba
Curator: Daniela Zyman
Exhibition 14 April 2023 -  March 2024

Born in Denver, Colorado, USA, in 1958. Died in New York, USA, in 1981.