The little guide text at the Victoria Miro Gallery in Mayfair, London, reads as follows:
“The critic Rosalid Krauss summed this up and criticised its weakness [ i.e. the Grid] in a persuasive article published in “October” in summer 1979 entitled “Grids”. This is the moment when Francesca deliberately adopted the zigzag, thigh one can see her attraction to it in many earlier photographs.”
George Woodman points out that Krauss’ article became a career pivot for his daughter Francesca.
Francesca Woodman’s photographs might display the theme of zigzag as the continuous line of her work, which she adopts in terms of compositional technique where her body is part of it.
Nonetheless the quality of her photographs does stand out for the ability of challenging the concept of composition per se.
The zigzag becomes for her vehicle to free photography from its static nature, i.e. from being a still image of alive (and moving) objects. Her unfocussed body moving through the camera frame wants to express the will to go beyond the static scene. The use of her body, as a moving object rather than still, is the most challenging, intriguing and seductive element for a culture where the body of a woman is quite often portrayed as still object, which decorates the surrounding. The “on focus” surrounding, made of everyday commodities, enhances the intensity contrast of her fluid body, that looks to redefine a new time-space dimension by dematerialising the existing one.
The poetry of Francesca Woodman’s images is rather metaphysical, as it takes the viewer to another dimension by looking beyond the frame and imagine what might happen next.