Diana Michener by Deborah Eisenberg

BOMB 56 Summer 1996
Issue 56 056  Summer 1996

Discover MFA Programs in Art and Writing

Diana Michener 01

Diana Michener, Corpus XV, 1993–95, 3½×4 inches. All images courtesy PaceWildensteinMacGill.

Diana Michener 02

Diana Michener, Corpus XIV, 1993–95, 4×4¾ inches.

The intense dignity of Diana Michener’s photographs allow us to approach—with a minimum of hysteria—the brink on which she has situated her camera. Her pictures include newly-severed heads of animals in an abattoir, human fetuses which have been preserved as clinical curiosities, and, most recently, corpses in the autopsy room; yet one is struck immediately by the elegance, the stillness, and the subtlety of these pictures. Evidently the photographer has taken it upon herself to outwait, or to absorb, the showers of sparks, the static, the clashing of self-protective mechanisms that are certain to attend these anguished sights.

Equipped with Michener’s composure and her steady gaze, we find ourselves able to encounter them, too, and to engage directly in her photographic meditations on the irreducibility, inviolability, and inscrutability of personality. And for the dead or absent subjects of those meditations, Michener provides a sanctuary, a milieu in which they can come forward to address us with their passionate and detailed silence.

Richard Barnett's The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration by Andrew Bourne
Sickrose L0074348
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MARLEY, MAGDA, MARGARET,
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MYRNA, MOIRA, MARIANNE,
MARLA, MAURA, MARIGOLD,
MEGHAN, MARY, MILLICENT,
MAITE, MAPLE, MITZI.

Der Diagnostische Blick  IV by Luc Tuymans
748181347 07222015 Luc Tuymans Der Diagnostische Blick Iv Bomb 092
Study for Vignette #4 by Kerry James Marshall
Kerry Marshall Bomb 092

Originally published in

BOMB 56, Summer 1996

Featuring interviews with Martha Plimpton, Irvine Welsh, Jeffrey Vallance, Nick Pappas, Mark Eitzel, Lee Breuer, Ornette Coleman, Cheick Oumar Sissoko, Janwillem van de Wetering, and Ada Gay Griffin & Michelle Parkerson on Audre Lorde.

Read the issue
Issue 56 056  Summer 1996