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Between and Mortarboard


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4 Items in this Learning Collection

Copyright
All Rights Reserved ()

Self-Portrait: Vertical Motion Down, Medium

Accession Number
1992/1.151

Title
Self-Portrait: Vertical Motion Down, Medium

Artist(s)
Blythe Bohnen

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1974

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

Dimensions
15 7/8 in x 19 13/16 in (40.3 cm x 50.3 cm);22 1/8 in x 28 3/16 in (56.2 cm x 71.6 cm);16 in x 19 7/8 in (40.7 cm x 50.5 cm);15 1/16 in x 18 7/8 in (38.2 cm x 48 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Herbert and Paula Molnar

Subject matter
This photograph is a self portrait. Standing against a blank wall with her shoulders bare, the artist faces the camera, almost in the manner of a passport photo. Her head however, is distorted, blurred and nearly illegible. This is due to a series of movements she performed during the image’s exposure. While the shutter was open, she jumped up and down in place. The traces of these movements were collected and compiled together on the negative, rendering her appearance as nebulous, blurred, and distorted. However, the artist’s eyes remain uncannily clear. They stare expressionlessly into the camera’s lens, two tiny light trails from the reflection off her pupils creating thin vertical lines in space.

Physical Description
This photograph is a blurred and distorted portrait of a figure standing against a blank wall.

Primary Object Classification
Photograph

Collection Area
Photography

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Portraits
abstraction
blur
bodies (human and animal components)
bust-length
distortion
exposure
gesture
kinetics (dynamics)
modern and contemporary art
performances (creative events)
self-portrait
self-portraits
women (female humans)

2 Related Resources

Photographic Portraiture 1970-1989
(Part of: Identity and Self-Understanding)
Surreal Photography
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved