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The Eclipse
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© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

Manuel Alvarez Bravo
Mexican, negative 1933, print 1974
Gelatin silver print
7 3/8 x 9 1/2 in.
84.XM.676.4

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Emulating the pose of a Flamenco dancer, this woman dramatically turns her head sideways and upwards, while extending one arm high up in the air. Holding a black, sheer cloth over her face and shielding her eyes from the strong Mexican sun, she enacts Manuel Alvarez Bravo's conception of an eclipse.
At the same time, light bounces off the hanging white sheets, saturating the off-center areas of the photograph.

Alvarez Bravo made many images of linens and clotheslines, exploring the interplay between draped fabric and angular architecture. Here, the addition of a figure, seemingly engaged in a performance, adds mystery and animation to an otherwise formal study.