Artist of the day: Francesca Woodman
Woodman was photographer and model, subject and object, at the same time. She utilized the female body to develop her own self-knowledge and not some representative but generic model of the world. The images of the body that this young American was experimenting with suggest a diffuse intimacy while tending to dissuade a voyeuristic approach. Unlike most of the images we are faced with on a daily basis, where the body is treated like a commodity to be used and consumed, or an icon to adore at safe distance, Francesca Woodman employs her body to initiate a dialog with herself. She places her body in familiar settings, though at the limits of our experience, presenting it as a symbol of receptivity, a meeting place between herself and the rest of the world, a communicative model in which information about her experience is presented and reflected upon.
She uses her own body as a model to investigate her own vision and not another’s vision of her body. Woodman projects images and symbols, hopes and fears onto the female body. She uses it like a gesticulative vector not fully known to her, communicating to the viewer the novelty of her encounter.