Untitled from Family Docudrama series 20" x 24" © 1980-83
A new find and a very cool one indeed. With over hundreds of exhibits (solo and group) since 1971, I feel I should get out more for not having seen her work earlier. Especially with her use of self portrait in combination with mise-en-scene (aka "setup" photography)... hmmm I know I've heard of that being done? ha.
Below is an excerpt from a writeup that was posted on her site. The first paragraph is great, then the second gets into the whole "based on religious works of art and/or paintings" crap that I just don't understand the significance of? Maybe I missed the boat, but where is the orginality of basing something on something else? It seems a lot harder create a scene from your imagination than to recreate a painting?
Eileen Cowin (published by Gallery Min, 1987)
REAL IMAGES OF AN ILLUSORY WORLD
by Mark Johnstone
The photographs by Eileen Cowin symbolically explore interpersonal relationships between people. The basis for her current work dates to 1978 when she began to create and direct imaginary scenarios of domestic life. These pieces depicted aspects of relationships occurring between and among people—including moments of terse confrontation, sibling rivalry, romantic interlude, and mundane daily chores—which were either depicted alone or humorously blended together. The emotional or psychological feelings stimulated by these images are largely generated by the visual devices of gesture or pose that Cowin incorporates into the photographs.
There are numerous precedents or parallels for Cowin’s approach within the continuum of art, from historical tableaux vivant paintings to contemporary media such as cinema or television. Thematic similarities between Cowin’s photographs and specific paintings are intentional; these parallels are not exclusively formal, but an engagement of the indescribable and elusive movements that have been present, yet are frequently hidden or submerged, within human life throughout recorded time. They may be forms of awakening in the human spirit or soul, as can be described through words like “redemption,” “corruption,” “salvation,” and “grace”. These particular concepts have deep and resonant symbolic significance within western Judeo-Christian religious tradition, from the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden to that moment when a mortal Virgin Mary learns that she has been divinely blessed and is carrying the Son of God in her womb.Visit Eileen Cowin Website for more images and articles ...