Laurie Simmons: Walking, Talking, Lying
The intimate ache of the dollhouse and its air of manipulation (whether as consumer object or ventriloquist dummy) has become as identified with pioneering photographer Laurie Simmons as with Ibsen. She's even designed a dollhouse for a toy company. Mostly self-taught, Simmons began working in the 1970s, when color and staged tableaux were first being explored by fine-art photographers, and has since mapped out a world all her own, mostly in haunting miniature. Over the past 25 years, her photographs have conveyed a bittersweet nostalgia for the 1950s, while edgily commenting on consumerism, feminism and other fraught aspects of postwar American culture. The accompanying essay by Kate Linker concentrates on selected series that cover the artist's entire oeuvre--from "Ventriloquism," "Walking Objects" and "Lying Objects" to the 1997 "Self-Portraits" and "Cafe of the Inner Mind"--and so is essential reading for any photography aficionado.