I have to
make a disclaimer now- I am obviously only able to supply the most abridged
of versions of a biography here...
I have not attributed information, it is most likely taken from some of
the basic works on her life*, which are good sources for further information.
including an entry from the journal I kept throughout this project so
you can see some of the discomfort I felt in trying to represent her life
issue I did encounter was how much of a self-conscious tone to effect-
like with her biography, I know I am being selective about the facts
of her life, clearly I have to be, even more so than people whose whole
work is a biography of her. It seems like a lot of the facts I chose
fit into the "story of her radicalization" which definitely has certain
implications in terms of a position on her FSA work...and partly that's
because in the three works I have on her pre-FSA life, which are pretty
much the major things on her, that's the approach they take. And partly
the other stuff isn't as relevant to my later topics, but what is the
cost? She comes off a bit like a girl on a straight path to liberal
social awareness? And maybe she was? So if part of it is that that's
the story that the books tell on her, and actually I don't have time
to make my project a revisionary biography, then perhaps I acknowledge
that this is the story on her as it has been told? But then I feel like
I am getting superself-conscious. Hard balance to strike. I guess this
makes it important to add in stuff like the story of how she came to
start taking photos, or her job in Philadelphia. But then this is just
adding more and more, and already I am at 10 pages of stuff on like
1/20billionth of the project.
* see works
by Hurley, Hendrickson, Ellis (though her biographical work is mostly
based on Hendrickson's) in bibliography
Juliet Gorman, May 2001
you familiarize yourself with the history
of the FSA yet?
you've done that already, have you covered the critical ground of thinking
documentary photography meant specifically in the 1930s?
you are done working through the material on the history of the FSA, critical
perspectives to bring to FSA photography, and some context on Marion Post
Wolcott's life, you should move on to reflections about narrative
in FSA photography.