Outside In: Francesca Woodman’s Rooms of Her Own

[…] In one of y Woodman’s pictures , a door that has been lifted off its hinges and seems to float in the air, as it were, attests to this other spatial reality created in photography’s transformative act. We may well know that the door has simply been set against the wall and then photographed from an adeptly chosen angle, but it looks in the picture as though we would merely need to move to a different viewpoint for the door to reveal itself as the entrance to another dimension, the portal to another world that projects, tilted and awry, into the room.

Newly sensitive to this space beyond the real architecture, we will begin to notice it also where it had not struck our eye before. Not only does the door that is out of joint seem to lead into an enigmatic zone; what we see through the empty doorframe in the background similarly becomes ever more baffling the longer we contemplate it. Two further doorways may be seen in the adjoining room. Set at a right angle to each other, these doors would seem to access the same room from different sides. But the two openings are far too close for this sort of layout to make any sense. What sort of room would have an entrance just half a step away from its exit? And the chamber in the background remains obscure in other ways, including literally: although both doors are open, not the least bit of light penetrates the darkness beyond the frames. This space behind the space remains a black void, unfathomable and ultimately unimaginable.

[…]  Complete PDF

in: Gabriele Schor, Elisabeth Bronfen (Ed.): Francesca Woodman. Works of the Sammlung Verbund, Köln: Buchhandlung Walther König 2014, p. 51-61.

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