Jo Ann Callis: Other Rooms
Text by Francine Prose.
Jo Ann Callis: Other Rooms, the first publication to comprehensively feature Jo Ann Callis’ mid-1970s investigation of the nude body and sexuality, is a revelation; the work is provocative, seductive and remarkably fresh. The artist’s playful, evocative use of constrictions and overlays on the human form, including twine, belts, tape and other everyday materials, are both humorous and fraught, offering an intensely personal assessment of the variable meanings of pleasure and the female nude as a staple of fine art photography. Callis has been an active artist since the 1960s, working in painting, sculpture and photography, among other media, and is known for capturing complex and often opposing emotions in a single piece. Jo Ann Callis: Other Rooms is an exquisitely produced artist’s book containing Callis’ photographs of the human form from her 1976–77 provisionally titled series Early Color, as well as a selection of black-and-white photographs from the same period. In this intimate volume, Callis photographs her models nude, frequently in close proximity, and in anonymous and mysterious settings, juxtaposing tactile props like honey, sand and fabric with skin. The photographs in this volume are at once beautiful and discomfiting, delicate and raw, mysterious and thoughtful, and confirm Callis’ important place in the history of 1970s color photography.