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Anna Fox. Pictures of Linda. (1983-2008)

Anna Fox. Pictures of Linda. (1983-2008)

The Hyman Collection includes the exhibition edit of Pictures of Linda as presented in Fox's retrospective Cockroach Diaries and Other Stories, Impressions Gallery, Bradford (and tour), 2008-09.

Pictures of Linda (1983-2008), a series of playful performance based portraits by Anna Fox of musician Linda Lunas, was a long-term photographic project that documented Linda's changing appearance over time. Fox first photographed Linda at a party, and inspired by the punk movement, in which Linda and her band Fashionable Living Death were involved, went on to continue photographing Linda's ever changing costumes and hairstyles. As their friendship grew, Linda became more obsessed with documenting herself dressed in different ways, and recording all theses changes she made to herself. In 2007 Fox created the film Pictures of Linda Lunus where Linda speaks, touchingly, about her life, her experiences and her response to being photographed for such a long period of time.

Pictures of Linda is a collaborative storytelling project that is ongoing and experimental. The body of work develops in different directions through a process initiated by both subject (primarily Linda) and photographer (usually me). It is central to the project's ethos that photographer and subject change places at times, so that Linda becomes autobiographer as well as biographical subject. The work aims to question the power relationship between subject and photographer in the creation of photographic portraiture.

Fox has explained:

"The project evolved over a thirty-year period: its continuous experiment in picture-making represented a long-term commitment to challenging documentary conventions. The work tracks numerous lifestyle changes over time, as Linda's life is represented in a variety of ways through her extraordinary range of costumes and guises. The costumes used in the shooting process all belong to her, and are not simply for dressing up: she wears these outfits every day. Besides raising questions about the documentary process itself, the work also aims to challenge myths and conventions concerning representations of women, particularly with reference to the picturing of women in rural locations (in the UK).

The new work in this project, since 2008, includes: photographs by Linda (self-portraits and some photographs of me); texts (emails and excerpts photographed from Linda's autobiography); photographs by me of Linda; and a video work funded by the Arts Council of England, made earlier but first shown in 2008, in Cockroach Diary and Other Stories. This ACE-supported exhibition (funded under the working title 'Masked Ball') presented a mix of older and new work, and the whole body of work including the video was shown at the Union of Lithuanian Art Photographers' 36th International Art Photography Meeting, Nida, 2013, where I also delivered a paper, 'Fabrication: documentary storytelling in the modern world'."

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