08-09-2009 / 24-10-2009

Francesca Woodman

La Fabrica Galeria will present, in collaboration with the Estate of Francesca Woodman (Denver, 1958-New York, 1981) the first individual exhibition of the artist in an art gallery in Spain. After its recent retrospective in the Space AV of Murcia the exhibition Self-portrait without touches will include 15 black and white photographs from diverse periods of the artist, as well as the projection of Selected Video Works, 1975-1978, that will be exhibited thanks to the contribution of the gallery Marian Goodman of New York.

Things seem strange because my photographs depend on my emotional state… I know that’s true and I have reflected on it for a long time. In a way, it makes me feel very well, a lot. (Francesca Woodman).

Francesca Woodman was an exceptional photographer whose anxieties in the shape of mysterious images last long after her early death at the age of 23. Woodman was primarily interested in portrait, and she mainly focused her production on her own body, habitually naked. With a marked autobiographical character, her pictures show her in melancholy settings, rooms in which the artist portrays the solitude, the oversight and the passing of time.

The work of Francesca Woodman alludes permanently to a radical nakedness, this is, a gesture in which she literally sweats blood. Nevertheless, when we contemplate the photographs of Woodman we do not want to strip anyone but to recover the body that end ups acquiring a ghostly appearance.

This woman who, literally disappears in its self-portraits, formulating the alteration of the ego to the way Rimbaud does, felt to a certain extent, and as Fernando Castro Florez affirms, frustrated because her projects seemed to be ridiculous, completely illogical or illegible. “In her last works it seemed that she intended to become a caryatid or a bacchante, but she actually was trying to radicalize its strategy of displacement. Perhaps she dreamt of becoming another thing”.

In Francesca Woodman’s work we have a logic, at the same time, of the sense and of the sensation, in that depth of the surface, in the epidermal border that protects us, precariously, of the world, without stopping to settle all the circumstances and, finally, being the human carnality of the world. Its thought-in-body is rhythmic, spacing, beating, giving rise to the time of the dance, the step of the world.”

In Francesca Woodman’s work -indicates Chris Townsend- the body itself becomes ambiguous. All the scenography of the bareness finally remits to a luck of angelic desire. What Woodman did is to open the possibility to mine the control that exercises the fantasy on us through a overindentification with her, that is to say, through embracing simultaneously, in the same space, all its multiplicity of ghostly elements.

All her intense gestures transmit the experience of the solitude and the strangeness that the own skin can produce. Photographs of a disturbing fragility in which, like Rosalind Krauss has indicated, there is nothing of narcissism.

Francesca Woodman