Jenn Reidel: Rodin’s Photographer
Friday Opening Reception: January 10th, 6:00-9:00pm
In this series of narrative photos, “Rodin’s Photographer,” Jenn takes on the role of the Unknown Photographer, who worked with French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) in the late 1800s. Within a conceptual theme – presented as Jenn’s reinterpretations of this turn of the century artist’s photographs – she intertwines historical research and fiction to create a classic character who uses her camera to reveal the mystery of how the spirit moves us.
The genesis of this idea was sparked at the Maryhill Museum of Art. Jenn was inspired by Rodin’s sculpture she saw there and even more captivated by the photos of his entourage of artists, poets, and dancers. Who could be the ‘Unknown Photographer’ who is attributed to some of the photos of his sculptures? She wondered what would it have been like to meet Rodin and his artist friends? What would happen if she had relationships with them? What wisdom would they share?
This exhibition follows the Unknown Photographer through her early work as a Victorian “spirit photographer”, as well as her work with Rodin in France. There are portraits of Rodin and his famous friends such as the poet Rainier Marie Riike. There are also intimate photos that Rodin took of the photographer during their time together. This famous sculptor is a catalyst for her transformation and though we never know her name, perhaps we can be transformed, too, by the beauty that lives on in the visions of a woman artist. The photos will be accompanied by wall text relating real and imagined excepts from letters and diaries, historical reference and poetry.
To tell this story, Jenn had the help of many Vashon artist and friends. The exhibit features some of the works from her collaborations including bronze sculptures by Michael Magrath (Director of Magrath sculpture Atelier at the Gage Art Academy).
Part of this installation features dances performed by Abby Enson, who portrays Rodin’s muse Loie Fuller, an Arlette Moody as Isadora Duncan. These dances will be performed at the Friday Opening reception, Friday, January 10th, in the Atrium.