Mary Ellen Mark: Twins (Aperture Monograph)

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9781931788199: Mary Ellen Mark: Twins (Aperture Monograph)
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Mary Ellen Mark, voted by the readers of "American Photography" as the most influential woman photographer of all time, has made some of America's most iconic images in a career spanning more than three decades. In "Twins," her fourteenth publication, Mark turns her acute eye and her heart to the extraordinary bond that exists between these very special siblings.

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About the Author:

Mary Ellen Mark earned numerous honors and awards including a Fulbright Scholarship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Cornell Capa Award, and the 2014 Lifetime Achievement in Photography Award from George Eastman House. During her lifetime, her photo essays and portraits were exhibited worldwide and appeared in numerous publications, including Life, the New York Times Magazine, and the New Yorker. Her photo essay on runaway children in Seattle became the basis of the Academy Award–nominated film Streetwise, directed and photographed by her husband Martin Bell, and was published in book form in 1988. Mark published nearly twenty books, including American Odyssey (Aperture, 1999), Twins (Aperture, 2003), Exposure (2005), Seen Behind the Scene (2009), Prom (2012), and Tiny: Streetwise Revisited (Aperture, 2015). In addition to producing her own work, Mark taught photography workshops for nearly thirty years; this book was one of her final titles, completed just before she died.

From Publishers Weekly:

Documentarian Mark captured the late Mother Teresa working among the starving sick of Calcutta, and her portraits of Central American factory workers and the underclasses of Appalachia and U.S. inner cities have combined empathy and insight. Now Mark goes all Diane Arbus on us in her new book of twins shot in 20 x 24 black and white Polaroid format, stunningly reproduced. Shot during 2001 and 2002 "Twins Days" festivals in Twinsburg, Ohio, site of the annual U.S. convention for twins (and triplets), subjects were pursued and herded into a darkened tent built to Mark's specifications by a large crew. The book begins with a pair of young girls in what looks to be the bygone costumes of the Gish sisters in D.W. Griffith's Broken Blossoms, and the air of the antique and the unsettling rarely lets up. One elderly man stands before the camera holding a photograph of his late twin brother. A father in cop uniform drags a wagon built up into jail bars to carry his twin daughters, dressed in cute jailbird costumes. The same dad in Hawaiian tourist garb exhibits the same girls the following year as hula maidens in leis and grass skirts. Mark's tent-show approach inevitably leads to questions of exploitation and voyeurism. She attempts to let her subjects have their own voice, printing brief excerpts from a thousand pages of transcribed interviews. This section disappoints, as we learn little about the individual twins other than that some of them share private languages and others like to use their twinness for pranks (we learn that the 27-year-old men she photographed in matching boxer shorts like to trick girls into having sex with both). Mark, queen of female photographers, has a steady following, and this new project deepens her legend in disturbing ways.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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