Bodies in Light: Antoine Douahy and Marian Roth
July 9 - September 7, 2002
Bodies In Light was an exhibition of photographic nudes by Antoine Douaihy and Marian Roth. The exhibition contrasts two intriguing but very different approaches to the nude.
Antoine Douaihy presents grids of black and white photographs assembled together to form life-sized depictions of nude figures. The figures are lit in a precise and clear manner and are shown both directly facing and facing away from the camera. The grid's sectors, however, are offset from each other, creating a distanced and disjunctive view of the figure. The perceptual shifts that result from this are expanded as the viewer notes minor variations in the structures of the body and comes to speculate about the number of models that may have been used in any one piece. Calling to mind depictions of nudes drawn through a perspective grid,these photographs act in part as puzzles, using the basic structure of a familiar form to challenge traditional perceptions and emotional responses to the nude.
In her underwater color photographs of the late 1980s, Marian Roth takes a free-spirited rather than analytic approach to the n ude. Diving with friends, with eyes closed, in the waters off Provincetown she allowed the camera itself to take the lead and found in the resulting photographs a luminosity and composition that was shocking to her in its perfection. Working only on the rare occasions when the atmospheric and water conditions provided an appropriate light, over several summers she created a body of work that embodies the freedom and exploration that is the center of her photographic work. In the photographs, the nude figures float buoyantly free in the water, bathed in an eerie light. With its play of light and chance, this work directly leads into Roth's more recent pinhole photography, which establishes a similar luminosity through the play of light on emulsion over extended periods of time.
Although quite different, the work of Douaihy and Roth demonstrate that the nude, one of the most venerable subjects in photography and in all of art, remains a vital genre open to interpretation and development in multiple directions.
Antoine L. Douaihy has worked extensively as a photographer of dance and performance, as a film location scout, and as a second unit director of motion pictures. His personal work as a photographer has been exhibited in New York and Europe. Douaihy work s in a variety of traditional and digital photographic media using cameras that range from 35 mm to 11"x14".
Marian Roth, a Guggenheim Fellow for 2000-2001, has been engaged in exploring the medium of pinhole photography and expanding its potential for over two decades. Roth's work has been widely exhibited and is the permanent collection of the DeCordova Museum, The Provincetown Museum, and in private collections. Her photography has been featured in a number of publications and a catalog of her work, Making Time: Marian Roth, was published in 2001 in conjunction with an exhibition at The Schoolhouse Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.