In the second and final portion of Barbara Crane's talk at Aperture Gallery coinciding with her exhibition, Barbara Crane: Private Views, she speaks at greater length with Barbara Hitchcock, curator and director of the Polaroid Collection in Concord, Maine, who wrote the essay from the book. Crane continues to discuss her education at Bauhaus in Chicago and working under the auspices of Aaron Siskind.
Crane and Hitchcock then speak specifically about the Private Views body of work and how Crane began this series, how she developed it during the course of working on it, and how it matured since leaving the work in boxes throughout a number of years.
During the last half of this segment, Crane takes questions from the audience on what she looks for when photographing in crowded situations, how she worked with Lesley Martin on editing the book Private Views, and her experiences in making this body of work.
About Private Views:
In the early 1980s, photographer Barbara Crane embarked on a photographic project shot during Chicago’s various summer festivals. Armed with a Super Speed Graphic camera and Polaroid film, Crane waded in close to the revelers and focused on capturing the details of clothing and hairstyles, but most importantly, gesture. The images are tightly cropped and terrifically alive, viscerally bringing us into the crush of people eating, drinking, and enjoying the crowd dynamic—an incredible inventory of private gestures performed in public spaces.
The collective effect of the images in the Aperture book and exhibition Private Views is mesmerizing and intensely compelling, creating a palpable sensuality from image to image—an astonishing document, not of a particular event or personality, but of something far less tangible: the public expression of euphoria. Private Views is a celebration of the classic 1980s Polaroid snapshot with an experimental flair; Crane’s mixture of natural light and flash combined with her use of Polaroid film highlights the primary colors of ’80s fashion, which still feels hip and contemporary today.
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