A psychobiography of one of the art world's most intriguing figures, photographer Diane Arbus, with new material drawn from her work and her therapist.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Essential Mysteries 10
Chapter 2 The Secret 30
Chapter 3 Fairy Tales for Grown-ups 68
Chapter 4 Shame Erasing 110
Chapter 5 The Black Knot 140
Chapter 6 Sweeping Back the Ocean 116
Chapter 7 The Hole in the Ground Where Secrets Lived 202
A Note on Sources 219
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
William Todd Schultz¿s psycho-biography, ¿An Emergency in Slow Motion, The Inner Life of Diane Arbus¿, is a psychological interpretation of Diane Arbus¿ interior life and how it influenced her photographic work. Conversely, Schultz also looked at how Arbus¿ work ¿ her subject matter - may have affected her psyche. Most of the author¿s resources came from previously published books and articles. He added a few personal interviews, one with Ms. Arbus¿ psychologist, Helen Boigon, and the other with one of her potential photographic subjects, the Kronhausens¿. Having a background in photography and a personal interest in it, I own and read the same material Schultz used to conduct his study. Mainly, Patricia Bosworth¿s 1984 biography of Diane Arbus and two of her photography books, issued by Doon Arbus and her Estate through Aperture. These contain personal interviews with Arbus, taped recordings from her classes, as well as her previously written texts. (Arbus was an excellent and prolific writer as well as photographer. She often wrote the text that accompanied her magazine articles.) At the time Ms. Arbus took her life, in 1971, she was considered a legend who influenced her students as well as professional photographers. Today, some 40 years later, she still inspires many emerging and established artists.As with anyone who has attained this stature, especially those who may not have appreciated her likeness of them, rumors and misrepresentations often abound. As it relates to Diane Arbus, the anecdote the public is most aware of, and is in fact accurate, is Ms. Arbus¿ fight with depression. Beyond that, is speculation and rumor. Our culture is all too eager to ride the salacious tide when a ¿weakness¿ is perceived. Especially if we dislike the person in question or when there is money to be made. This is why I question, the author¿s new sources, the Kronhausens¿ and Dr. Helen Boigon. The Kronhausens¿ do not appear to like Ms. Arbus. If what they related to Schultz was true, it was better left unsaid because it was personal and does not add to our understanding of Diane as a photographer. What it does tell us has more to say about the people she was with and our experimental culture at that time - the 1960¿s. As it stands, it sounds more like an embellished story developed by the Kronhausens¿, possibly because she did not photograph them and make them a part of her vast, insightful portfolio. Helen Boigon¿s interviews with the author make one question her abilities as a psychologist. Granted, psychology has come a long way since the 1960¿s and its findings do not maintain the same credibility as it did then. However, Ms. Boigon¿s analysis of Ms. Arbus felt sophomoric, outdated and overstated; despite the fact Schultz interviewed her in 2007. She also admitted during her interview that she did not dislike Ms. Arbus, but did not like her and reluctantly took a photograph that she disliked from Arbus as a gift (Identical twins, Roselle, N.J. Twins).( Ironically, she did have an understanding of its value since she sold it to put her daughter through medical school.) By virtue of Boigon¿s analysis, Diane Arbus lived her adult life psychologically incompetent. Schultz agrees with parts of Ms. Boigon¿s theory but not all of it. However, whether or not they are of the same mind as it relates to specifics, they both assessed Arbus in a manner that leaves one wondering if they are speaking about the same photographer. During her lifetime, Ms. Arbus produced thousand of photographs, was in numerous exhibits, had her work and writing in the best magazines ¿Art Forum, Life, etc.- and taught at Universities and ran photography workshops. If she was as incompetent as Schultz and Boigon make her out to be, she would not have been able to perform at the level she did. What is most disturbing about this book is the breech of doctor-patient confidentiality by Dr. Boigon, per the author¿s request, a practicing psychologist. My m
I was looking forward to reading this book because I am intrigued by Arbus' photography and wanted a more truthful depiction than the film Fur provided. Unfortunately, I don't really feel that I got that. Schultz is open about the fact that even after several years of researching her work and trying to achieve insider knowledge from people like her family and psychiatrist, 'Arbus is a mystery'. The psychobiographical approach sees Schultz interpret Arbus through her art and he acknowledges the limitations of this. However, the extensive use of two previous works on Arbus (a biography by Patricia Boswell and Revelations, the book containing a vast number of Arbus' work as well as diary entries produced by her estate) combined with no reproductions of photographs described by the author, led me to a fairly frustrating time of parallel reading Revelations as well as doubting the interpretations Schultz presents. There just wasn't enough there for me to engage with. I was pretty disappointed with this book, although my interest in Arbus is sufficient to see if the Boswell book is available at the University library where I work.