The Ancient Photograph: Looking Twice at Sara VanDerBeek’s Roman Women

At the bookshop in the Tate Modern last weekend I picked up this curious book:

Scattered throughout the book I came across several photographs of ancient sculpture (all women).

Some were frontal views of well-preserved busts: 

Others were frontal views of broken figures:

 Some were side-views of well-preserved busts:

 Others were side views of broken figures:

 Some were broken busts on the right-hand page:

 Some were well-preserved figures across two pages:

 Others were broken busts on the left-hand page:

On turning back to the contents page, I discovered that all of them were the work of Sara VanDerBeek from a series called Roman Women.

I left the Tate Modern bookshop wanting to know more about these strange ancient photographic sculptures and when I was finally able discover more online by searching on GoogleImage, I was startled to find that those I could find were all, in some way, the colour blue.

Some were blue frontal views of broken figures:

Others were blue frontal views of well-preserved busts:

Some were blue frontal views of blurred broken figures:

Others were blue blurred close-up views of (broken?) figures:

Some were double blue portraits facing the same directions:

Others were blue double portraits facing slightly different directions:

Both my experience with the book in the Tate and the GoogleImage results online had the same effect: I want to see these photographs in the flesh.

For more on Sara VanDerBeek go here.

One thought on “The Ancient Photograph: Looking Twice at Sara VanDerBeek’s Roman Women

  1. Pingback: Ancient Mirrors: Sara VanDerBeek in Ostia – Minus Plato

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