MIAa presents the world premiere of Anne Collier’s Women with Cameras (Self Portrait), a slideshow of 80 35mm slides depicting found images of female subjects in the act of taking self-portraits. Dating from the 1970s to the early 2000s, these relics of the pre-digital age were collected by Collier, each image discarded by its original owner yet finding its way back to relevance in Collier’s work.
The slideshow consists of amateur snapshots of women photographing themselves with film cameras prior to the advent of the digital “selfie.” Instead of circulating on social media, these abandoned images once existed for a private audience. The resulting work is steeped in a deep sense of loneliness, illustrating photography’s contentious relationship to memory, loss, and self-representation.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether or not you go, Anne Collier: Women with Cameras (Anonymous) is a new artist's book by Anne Collier (born 1970), with a text by Hilton Als (winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism). Consisting of a sequence of 80 images of found amateur photographs that each depict a female subject in the act of holding a camera or taking a photograph.
Dating from the 1970s to the early 2000s, these artifacts of the pre-digital age were collected by Collier over a number of years from flea markets, thrift stores and online market places. Each of these photographs has, at some point in the recent past, been discarded by its original owner. The concept of "abandonment," of photographic images and the personal histories that they represent, is central to the book, which amplifies photography’s relationship with memory, melancholia and loss. The sequence of the images in Collier's book follows the format of her 35mm slide projection work Women with Cameras (Anonymous) (2016), that was shown to great acclaim in Tokyo, Japan, and Basel, Switzerland.
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