Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Laurie Simmons | Water Ballet/Family Collision

Laurie Simmons
Water Ballet/Family Collision
Minneapolis, USA: Walker Art Center, 1987
8 pp., 16 x 24 cm., stiff boards
Edition size unknown

The artist's third book features five full-bleed black and white images of dolls floating in pools and five colour photographs of nude women in various pools and the clear waters of the Caribbean. Designed by Yolanda Cuomo, the cardboard pages are laminated and the synthetic cover simulates  the surface of a swimming pool.

"For her series Water Ballet (1980-1981), the legendary American photographer staged an underwater choreography with her friends, including Cindy Sherman, in direct reference to the Post-War Hollywood water ballets."
- Time Out

When I shot underwater, I obviously had to go to swimming pools. But then after that, I started dropping little toys in tanks of water in my own house. There are times when I really need to go somewhere to shoot, but it never feels right. And I never wanted to be that person who I would see out on the street with their cameras, and they looked really strong and cool and tough, but I just kept thinking, “I’m not that person.” It felt like the actual act of shooting was a kind of performance.

- Laurie Simmons, interviewed by Sheila Heti, for Interview magazine

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