Kristin M. Jones

  • Hans Bellmer

    Though 63 years have passed since Hans Bellmer created the first of his two disarticulated dolls, or poupées, they remain difficult to describe. “The body,” he wrote, “resembles a sentence which seems to invite us to dismember it into its component letters, so that it will reveal in an endless row of anagrams the reality that it contains.” Photographed in dizzying recombinations and occasionally tinted to heighten an already tense eroticism, the poupées are frozen at a point of intense desire and profound damage—at once fluid and immobile, female and male, suggestive of both disintegration and

  • Sally Mann

    Naked Jessie dazzles as a rapt Shiva crouched in a brook; the coiled braids on the back of her head in Vinland, 1992, are as freighted with significance as a moody blur of trees in the distance. In At Warm Springs, 1991, Virginia immerses herself in water and pretends to be a severed head, her fine hair snaking out around a tiny face that barely clears the surface and seems to float in a medallion of light. She resembles a gorgon, but her eyes are closed—her gaze is directed inward, rendering her an interior presence, a benign, canny spirit, rather than a harbinger of destruction. This symbolic