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A cunningly sequenced album of pictures inducts us into this world…
The photographer has penetrated a space where a secret identity unfolds. An intimate, private space, whose banal activities -- yowling, drooling, eating, sleeping, bathing, masturbating -- here acquire the character of weird rituals, because they're being done by adult men dressed as, and carrying on like, babies…
It's a long time that the camera has been bringing us news about zanies and pariahs, their miseries and their quirks. Showing us the banality of the non-normal. Making voyeurs out of us all.
But this is particularly gifted, authoritative, intelligent work. Borland's pictures seem very knowing, compassionate; and too close, too familiar, to suggest common or mere curiosity…
Here -- says the book -- is a specimen of behavior that has a legitimate claim on our interest and attention. The pictures register a truth about human nature which seems almost too obvious to spell out…but which has never received so keen, so direct a depiction.
Excerpted from "Borland's Babies," by Susan Sontag in The Babies by Polly Borland