Putting Myself in the Picture

Jo Spence, Author Real Comet Press $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-941104-35-7
American readers are unlikely to be familiar with British photographer Spence's oeuvre and this hodgepodge is an unimpressive showcase. Rather than examine her life, which she admits is a ``painful process,'' she presents a neutral chronicle of her work history, interspersed with highly personal items like a transcript of a psychotherapy session and with mundane, hackneyed generalizations about life and politics (``Feminism had made me aware of my socialization as a woman and of the process of `bourgeoisification' which had taken me away from the working class roots and struggles of my own family''). Particularly irritating is her habit of referring to people and events without explaining who or what they are. Americans will have little sympathy for her tiresomely English preoccupation with her social standing. Apart from the shock value of pictures of Spence's breasts before and after cancer surgery and shots of her male ``life partner's'' genitalia, the numerous black-and-white photographs are unremarkable. Some of them are reproduced so small as to be unintelligible. (September)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
Hardcover - 220 pages - 978-0-941104-38-8
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