“When considered as an object the photograph exists physically in the world, it belongs to someone; it gets held, it has weight, value. I’ve been interested in this concept for some time. It was this interest plus the recurrent use of my images online without my permission that motivated the creation of the series Little Romances.” – Jordanna Kalman
In this deeply personal and emotional series, photographic artist Jordanna Kalman presents photographs of her prints of female nudes to which she has added elements from her garden and other personal items to explore the complexities and anxieties associated with womanhood. Kalman has always been fascinated by women who are feminine, who are comfortable in their bodies and with sexuality. She is continually questioning her own female experiences and the role she is expected to play as wife, daughter, lover, mother, friend.
Each work in Little Romances is centered around the photograph as an object that the artist claims as her own. The concept was originally motivated by the recurrent use of Kalman’s images online, often without her permission and frequently published on pornography sites. Given the sensitive nature of the photographs, seeing her work exposed in this manner was very painful to her. By reclaiming and re-photographing these images Kalman seeks to obscure their original intent to create a new, multi-layered narrative.
In her essay in the book entitled “Her Power Arouses or, Grasping the Nettle,” artist, curator and photographer Jennifer Murray writes: “Jordanna Kalman’s Little Romances challenges the assumed power structures present in images of the female nude. Kalman pushes back against these assumptions, creating images depicting a subtle female sensuality that challenges the infantilized female sexuality that permeates conventional society. Moreover, in a cultural context where sexualized images of women are designed to belong to the viewer for their personal pleasure, Kalman’s intimate narratives belong to her, the maker, and we are required to view them through her very specific lens.”
Jordanna Kalman is an artist based in New York state. Her work explores loneliness, femininity and individuality. She received her MA in photography from the London College of Communication and her BFA in photography from Purchase College. Kalman has had her work shown nationally, internationally and online. In addition to her practice she runs the online photography gallery Streit House Space and the Instagram residency program Streit Lab. She works on many different things very slowly all at once.
Jordanna Kalman : Little Romances
Contributions by Jennifer Murray
9 x 6 | 128 pages
50 B&W photographs
ISBN: 9781942084730 W