The Female Pose
Work in progress
Anyone who has appeared in a snapshot has likely posed for the camera, or has been posed by the person using the camera. But how, when and where do we learn to pose?
In Snapshot Versions of Life, Richard Chalfen discusses the nature of posing. He asks: why is it that people insist on being seen by cameras only in certain poses or gestures, states of dress, moments of activity or specific social circumstances?
This collection of found snapshots from the 1920s to 1960s is intended as a historical commentary on the conventions for posing.
Did these females pose, or were they posed? How do snapshot appearances structure an impression of these people we will never meet? What kind of directing, if any, was involved in the making of these snapshots? What if any kinds of rearrangements or transformations were made prior to the shutter being pressed? Did these females insist on posing or ‘acting’ differently as a result of the camera’s presence?
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