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Morphe #11 (Cloud)
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© Jo Ann Callis
Gift of Gay Block

Jo Ann Callis
American , 1975
Gelatin silver print
6 x 8 7/8 in.
2003.498.3

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This image came about because I was interested in the ambiguity of meaning and of space. It was a way of calling attention to the fact that a reclining body with eyes closed can appear dead, or appears to be sleeping and dreaming peacefully. There is an element of fear in these photographs, juxtaposed with beauty.

--Jo Ann Callis

Comparing the artist's earliest work with the subject of the nude, the "Morphe" series consists of black-and-white studies staged with a model partially submerged in water. In this image, the composition incorporates a floating, floral-patterned cloth and plant reflections on the water. Depending on the attitude of the viewer, the human model in these dark images might express death or dreaming.