Whilst looking for example of artifacts within photography, I remembered a photographer called E.J. Bellocq (1873-1949) . Following his death in 1949, eighty-nine glass plate negatives of portraits of female prostitutes from New Orleans’ Storyville district were found in his desk. All of the images were taken circa 1912. Photographer Lee Friedlander acquired them and made contact prints of the 8 x 10 negatives on the same gold toned printing-out paper that Bellocq used in his rare prints. Friedlander is credited with salvaging and promoting the work. Lee friedlander allowed E.J. Bellocqs work to be shown due to him creating an archive of his work, the work was explored in a different way that if E.J. Bellocqs had displayed his work himself. The archive nature given to his work gave it significance and importance that I don't think it would of had if it wasn't explored and developed in this way. His work is rather simple and isn't renowned for its photographic quality but more for the documentation of the subjects. We know the images are of prostitutes form the dates (1873-1949), but we have very little information on why they were documented and due to this we project our own analysis and importance on the images. Asking questions like, why were they taken? what were these women like ? what was E.J. Bellocq like as a photographer and man ? why was he drawn to these women ? and most importantly we get a small brief insight into these figures but not seeing them in flesh we create an internal life for the image due to our need to evaluate an process imagery.
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!