Women with Cameras (Anonymous) is a new artist's book by Anne Collier (born 1970), with a text by Hilton Als (winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism), that consists of a sequence of 80 images of found amateur photographs that each depict a female subject in the act of holding a camera or taking a photograph. Dating from the 1970s to the early 2000s, these artifacts of the pre-digital age were collected by Collier over a number of years from flea markets, thrift stores and online market places. Each of these photographs has, at some point in the recent past, been discarded by its original owner. The concept of "abandonment," of photographic images and the personal histories that they represent, is central to Women with Cameras (Anonymous), which amplifies photography’s relationship with memory, melancholia and loss. The sequence of the images in Collier's book follows the format of her 35mm slide projection work Women with Cameras (Anonymous) (2016), that was recently shown to great acclaim in Tokyo, Japan, and Basel, Switzerland.
Published by MCA Chicago. Foreword by Madeleine Grynsztejn. Text by Michael Darling, Chrissie Iles, Kate Zambreno.
New York-based conceptual photographer Anne Collier (born 1970) creates neutral images of objects that already exist in the world, often charged with undercurrents of emotional complexity and vulnerability. Her work deftly addresses subjects inherent to both the act and industry of photography while simultaneously lampooning clichés and uncovering hidden truths. Describing Collier's work in Frieze magazine, the acclaimed author and critic Brian Dillon wrote, "Collier uncouples the machinery of appropriation so that her found images seem weightless, holding their obvious meaning in abeyance." This volume, part of the MCA Monograph series, accompanies the first major solo US exhibition of Collier's work. Alongside a selection of color plates, Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator at the MCA, reviews the works in the exhibition within the context of the artist's career; Chrissie Iles, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, examines the artist's position within photographic and cinematic history; and novelist Kate Zambreno considers the fragments of lost objects and what it means to collect.