PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Aperture

BOOK FORMAT
Clth, 8.5 x 11 in. / 88 pgs / 30 color / 15 duotone.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
No longer our product

DISTRIBUTION
Contact Publisher

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781597112758 FLAT40
List Price: $65.00 CDN $75.00

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BROWSE THE 2020 FALL CATALOG

Preview our FALL 2020 catalog, featuring 500 new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.

  

APERTURE

Jo Ann Callis: Other Rooms

Text by Francine Prose.

"Woman with Black Line" (1976-77) is reproduced from <I>Jo Ann Callis: Other Rooms</I>.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.

"Woman with Black Line" (1976-77) is reproduced from Jo Ann Callis: Other Rooms.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Bookforum

Sarah Nicole Prickett

Callis: A (woman's) hand, dredged in flour, nails blackened, rests flat in a yolk of honey on a smooth, eggshell-colored bedsheet. You also glimpse a thigh, and the glint of hairs. Nothing in teh image tells you why. It appears halfway through this new volume, which is the first to survey skin in Callis's work-and, with its funny, silky slippages, exemplifies her dollhouse surrealism. The publication of "Other Rooms" is excellently timed. There is an international vogue for old-school printed nudity, as well as a furor over nipples on Instagram; the Museum of Modern Art (New York) recently staged a retrospective for Robert Heinecken, whom Callis studied photography with at UCLA. Of the eighty-three images in this book, eighty-two were made in the-mid 70's, when color film was still gaining traction as fine art; seventy-two are in color. All but two contain at least one body part. The bodies are white, slim but not muscular, untouched by scalpel or ink; the decor is self-consciously modest.

Rain Taxi

Elena Shafan

Other Rooms presents both color and black-and-white photographs by Callis, most of the human form-and the rare image bereft of it, such as "Yellow Room," feels utterly haunted./p>Other Rooms comes with a well-wrought preface by novelist Francine Prose, who seeks the work as primarily a discourse on sex-and indeed, the Freudian dreamscape here is evocative, with its piles of black sand and pools of honey. But add to that rhetoric a concern wtih poetics of space, those lush pockets of air and light that surround the image as it's seen by the mind's eye. This too, Callis has captured with her camera-a feat of quiet astonishment.

Whitehot

Shana Nys Dambrot

Aside from the scholarly and emotional impact of seeing these seminal images collected in one place, with the editorial participation of the artist, there is something satisfyingly lush and tactile about the production value of the book itself which underscores the subtle luminosity and erotic pleasure animating these nevertheless fiercely feminist portraits.

American Photo

Debbie Grossman

A student of Heinecken at UCLA, Callis offers a female counterpoint to his work: She teases us with sexuality through provactive poses, skin altered by lipstick and binding, relics of fetishes, and another's roving hands.

Jo Ann Callis: Other Rooms

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/25/2014

Jo Ann Callis: Other Rooms

Jo Ann Callis: Other Rooms

"Any artist will tell you: there is probably nothing more difficult to try to make art about than sex. Sex is the ultimate earworm, that song or musical phrase that we, our species, can't get out of our minds. It's more like an earworm on steroids, with a special gift for working its way into our thoughts, trumping and crowding out the other useful, charitable, or productive thoughts we might otherwise be thinking. And yet few experiences are less possible to translate into image or language. The body parts and the sensations have been pirated by pornography. The postures and the attitudes have been commodified by advertising. Literature is full of good attempts gone horribly wrong. You can't describe or show what it feels like. You can't even remember, exactly, because the body's memory doesn't quite interface with the brain's. So what is left to say about sex that could possibly seem new?
In Jo Ann Callis's black and white and color photographs from the 1970s, she has managed to convey the complexity and the mystery of sex by communicating something of its complications and its mysteriousness. Her angle, so to speak, is oblique; physical pleasure – and anxiety – is suggested rather than enacted. What we see is either the prelude or the aftermath of an imagined act: the flesh indented by the physical memory of bondage; a naked back striped by red welts, or for all we know, parallel lines of paint; an empty bed with pillows scrunched suggests the presence of two lovers, or of a solitary sleeper trying to find some comfort. On the other hand, it's hard to put another construction other than the sexual on the chafing below the black binding on the neck of the thin, androgynous torso with black armbands and black paint applied to the nipples. Why would you get yourself up like that, if it didn't, in some way, feel good?" Excerpt from Francine Prose's essay and featured image, "Legs on Dresser" (1976-77), are reproduced from Jo Ann Callis: Other Rooms, published by Aperture . continue to blog


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