Sunday, January 23, 2011

Everyone deserves a Susan: Annie Leibovitz: A Photograher's Life @ The MCA

I expected to see glamorous Vanity Fair covers at the Annie Leibovitz: A Photographers life exhibit at the MCA.

I was completely prepared to ogle pictures of gorgeous gowns and pretty boys and pregnant celebrities- I didn't expect to ball my eyes out.

Not that there wasn't any said photographs, there were plenty and yes the pictures were often beautiful, excessive and dramatic.

But it wasn't the Demis, Brads, Leos, Kates or Johnnys that really fascinated me.

It was pictures of a woman called Susan which drew my attention away from the glitter and famous naked bellies.

The exhibition covers 15 years of Leibovitz career from 1990-2005, images of Susan were interspersed throughout the exhibition- with very little and sometimes no explanation from Leibovitz.

The photos of Susan were so personal and raw, I scoured the exhibition looking just for them. It was apparent to me that she was someone very special and I was convinced that she was the love Leibovitz life.

Pictures of Susan's cancer prognosis, her treatment and finally her death were dotted between pictures of famed portraits of celebrities, family and also Leibovitz's pregnancies. I found the hanging and order of the photograph's odd and sometimes confronting. Perhaps like in life itself, insensitive in a way that it (life) must and always goes on. 

I have since learned that the Susan in the photograph's was indeed the great love of Leibovitz's life and also a renowned author, activist and intellectual herself.

When pressed to explain her relationship with Susan, Leibovitz once said: "Call us 'lovers'. I like 'lovers.' You know, 'lovers' sounds romantic. I mean, I want to be perfectly clear. I love Susan."

See Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life 1990-2005 for all those images that you know and to see images that you don't but understand.

Showing at the MCA until March 27 2011

1 comment:

  1. I walked pas the MCA the other week and wished that I had time to stop as I love Annie Liebotvitz's photography! I'll be sure to look out for the photos of Susan!


Related Posts with Thumbnails