Self-Portrait, Organdy Dress, 1973

I was getting to know myself and started bringing women subjects with antique clothes, objects and my camera to greenhouses. I wanted to work in this fecund, warm space where there was some protection and freshly tended growth. My personal fantasies seemed to spur on the other's women's unconscious sensibilities. They acted out archetypal situations, death wishes, phallic symbols, escape, and communion with nature. I gave one woman a cut off wedding dress at the waist. She responded by jumping up onto a plant shelf and lifted her naked leg and vagina over a giant prickly cactus. I learned to respond when a photographic situation goes on fire and the energy has been transformed to the film. The photograph was published in the Village Voice, a radical vehicle for ideas at the time, and part of my portfolio, Greenhouse and Beyond, was exhibited at the Everson Museum.

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