The Beautifully Raw World of Amalia Ulman

After a bus carrying Amalia from New York to Chicago crashed, leaving her in a hospital bed with two broken legs, she continued her photography work from her hospital bed, including this striking self-portrait that feels like something out of David Cronenberg’s Crash.

Let’s consider the religious figure of the Madonna (I mean Madonna as in Jesus’ mom, not the singer). Her face is classic, isn’t it — especially when represented in front of Nature? She becomes a landscape and a landscape-in-a-landscape: a mirror of the world at large. While the Madonna kept herself clear of the action by giving birth to the Child, contemporary women, and especially artists, are now taking over the means of self-representation, portraying their own situations (instead of waiting for the odd Raphael to do it for them).

They are consciously portraying themselves in the context of their Now. Photography has been a successful medium for this endeavor, and through it Cindy Sherman became the many women she probably is; more recently Petra Cortright has gone a step beyond Sherman with her YouTube self-portrait films. And these days, Amalia Ulman is taking over the internet with her selfie photos and daily visual-confessions on Facebook… read more >

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