"Trying to get a baby or a fussy toddler to sit still for a photograph can feel like a herculean task. Luckily, it only takes a second to get the shot. In the nineteenth century, however, it was a different story—particularly when it came to tintype portraits, which required a long exposure.
Photographer Laura Larson’s series, Hidden Mother, presents a survey of nineteenth-century tintype portraits in which the mother of the child was included in the photograph, but obscured.
In some instances, the mother would hold her child, with a cloth or props hiding her from the lens, or she would be painted over by the photographer after the image had been taken. In other examples, the mother is entirely absent from the frame, save for an arm, holding the child in place.
The results are both funny and slightly disturbing. The mother appears as an uncanny presence, Larson writes in a statement. Often, she is swathed in fabric, like a ghost.”
Gustave Caillebotte - The Floor Scrapers (1875-6)
Original on top, later version below
"Despite the effort Caillebotte put into the painting, it was rejected by France’s most prestigious art exhibition, The Salon, in 1875. The depiction of working-class people in their trade, not fully clothed, shocked the jurors and was deemed a ‘vulgar subject matter.’
The images of the floor scrapers came to be associated with Degas’s paintings of washerwomen, also presented at the same exhibition and similarly scorned as ‘vulgar’”.
Frederick Sommer - Paracelsus (1957)
"Paracelsus was a Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist. He founded the discipline of toxicology. He is also known as a revolutionary for insisting upon using observations of nature rather than looking to ancient texts, in open and radical defiance of the medical practice of his day. Modern psychology often also credits him for being the first to note that some diseases are rooted in psychological illness.
He was one of the first medical professors to recognize that physicians required a solid academic knowledge in the natural sciences, especially chemistry. Furthermore, he allowed for the access of medical academic work to learned people. Surgeons, for example, often were not academically trained and ranked with the barbers and butchers in the same guild.”
His motto was Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest.
Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself.
Elena Chernyshova - Days of Night - Nights of Day (2012-13)
“Days of Night - Nights of Day is about the daily life of the inhabitants of Norilsk, a mining city northernmost of the polar circle with a population of more than 170,000.
The city, its mines and metallurgical factories were constructed by prisoners of the Gulag. With 60% of the present population involved in the industrial process, this documentary aims to investigate human adaptation to extreme climate, ecological disaster and isolation.
Norilsk is the 7th most polluted city in the world. The average temperature is -10C, reaching lows of -55C in winter, when for two months the city is plunged into polar night. The living conditions of the people of Norilsk are unique, making their plight incomparable.”