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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Artist Talk: Dru Donovan

Aperture Foundation, in collaboration with the Department of Photography at Parsons The New School for Design, is pleased to present an artist talk with Dru Donovan. Donovan’s images bring into question how we care for ourselves and others, using construction and reenactment to align personal experience with universal understanding. In her 2011 book Lifting Water, Donovan investigates rituals of caregiving and issues surrounding illness and loss, by constructing scenes in which models reenact her experience of caring for a friend with a terminal illness. In the “Performance” issue of Aperture magazine, author and editor Brian Dillon writes in reference to Lifting Water, “Working with a variety of formats—view camera, digital SLR, 35 mm point-and-shoot—Donovan essays a typology of vulnerable, tender, and exhausting poses . . . [She] has long been exercised by the theatrics of pain and passivity.”

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