Remodelling Photo History: Industrialization, 1981-82
Vintage black and white photograph generously donated by the Jo Spence Estate and Richard Saltoun Gallery, London
Original photograph in museum grade frame
About The Artwork
Jo Spence was central to the debates around photography, feminism and the critique of representation in the seventies and eighties. In 1973, together with Terry Dennett, she founded the Photography Workshop, an independent organisation dedicated to education, research and publishing, which included an exhibition space and resources for photographic production. In 1982, at the age of 46, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thereafter, her work became autobiographical, using photography as a tool for rebellion and therapy. Remodelling Photo History is a work by Jo Spence, together with Terry Dennett, which consists of remodelling and restructuring the history of photography, and questioning normalised and institutionalised genres, practices and codes. It is a critique of the female nude in the history of art, traditionally seen from the masculine gaze as a passive object of desire. The work is framed within the artistic practice that Spence and Dennett call ‘phototheatre’, which began with their investigations into the work of the photographer Frederick Holland Day. Without compromising visual impact, these are realistic photos that have been prepared, staged and constructed as theatricalised images. This vintage photograph from the Remodelling Photo History series has been donated the Jo Spence Estate and Richard Saltoun Gallery, London to directly support Studio Voltaire. Versions of the series are in the collections of MACBA, Barcelona and Tate Collection, London.