Anne Arden McDonald.

Photographs by Anne Arden McDonald. Text by Anne Arden McDonald, Leslie Findlen, and Wanda Strukus.
New York, 2003. 100 pp., 40 black-and-white illustrations, 12x13¼".

"Years ago, Anne McDonald showed me a photograph titled Untitled Self-Portrait Number 3. It is the cover image of this collection, and the first photograph of McDonald’s that I had seen, the one that stopped me in my tracks and led me to witness her ever-growing body of work. The image is emblematic of McDonald’s photography in the early years, what I think of as the flying years, in which her images trace the tension of what she calls “living in a body with a mind that dreams,” measuring the weight and substance of a world that holds the spirit at bay. I repeatedly return to this photograph to see her body slicing through the air, a defiant surge of life in the somber landscape... This image seized hold of me on that first viewing and draws me to it again and again. The figure breaks through the confines of the frame, suggesting escape and rupture at the same time. The sheer heroism of the gesture changes me, emboldens me, and for a moment, the sharp intake of breath and the gathering of muscles is mine. This moment of flight is mine.”—essay by Wanda Strukus.

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