Self-Portrait at Craters of the Moon

Judy Dater American

Not on view

This photograph is from a series of self-portraits Dater made during ten trips to national parks in the western United States between 1980 and 1983. The small, stark white figure of the artist appears otherworldly within the barren volcanic fields known as Craters of the Moon (Idaho.) The shadow of a camera tripod in the foreground heightens the impression of an alien landscape, and evokes the iconic photographs made by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 Moon landing. The artist recalls making this association only after seeing the negative; as both photographer and subject, she set up the shot and had just ten seconds to pose before the automatic shutter released. Blending traditions of self-portraiture and landscape photography, Dater’s series also relates to contemporaneous performative earth works by Ana Mendieta as well as outdoor nude studies by her mentor, Imogen Cunningham.

Self-Portrait at Craters of the Moon, Judy Dater (American, born Hollywood, California, 1941), Gelatin silver print

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