Tag: francesca woodman

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A still from C. Scott Lewis's "The Woodmans", a film on Francesca Woodman.

So Much Is Delicate: C. Scott Willis’s “The Woodmans” (2010)

In C. Scott Willis’s documentary, George Woodman asks with regard to his daughter’s posthumous fame, ‘Does her work deserve it?’ A painter himself, he admits, despite his support, to feeling overshadowed. But again, we must ask if her work deserves it? Francesca Woodman (1958-1981) was a prolific photographer who died by suicide at the age of 22. In many respects, The Woodmans addresses (and challenges) numerous artistic clichés—the sad artist, the rejected artist, the need to feel special and unique. But more importantly, it addresses the need for one to forget the creator in order to appreciate the creativity. To not imbue too much personal tragedy into each and every frame. To allow—that is—to give the artist the opportunity for her craft to exist separate from her identity. (To not do so would be to disparage the importance of one’s brilliance.)

I am always underwhelmed by the lackluster attempts by so many artists. Writers especially can win the appropriate praise so long as they employ the correct politics or regard themselves in a certain way. That their work leaves one’s mind feeling like flat soda is irrelevant. This, I feel, is where the selfish (poseur) artist resides. Give me money. Give me attention. Give me a prize. Fame too comes at a cost—often at one’s integrity. They don’t care that they are boring so long as the perception (or so-called ‘experience’) suggests otherwise. […]