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Woman Twirling: A Conversation with Jo Ann Callis, Gay Block, and Catherine Opie

Date: Thursday, May 21, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium
Admission: Free; reservations required. Call (310) 440-7300 or use the "Make Reservation" button below.

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Three L.A. photographers talk art, life, and domesticity on the occasion of the exhibition Jo Ann Callis: Woman Twirling, on view through August 9 at the Getty Center. In Callis's work, salt shakers, gloves, and donuts become sensual and ominous. Women twirl, do handstands, emerge from water. What do these intimate images tell us—and in what ways do they speak in a woman's voice?

About the Photographers

Jo Ann Callis
Since she emerged in the late 1970s as one of the first important practitioners of the "fabricated photographs" movement, Jo Ann Callis has made adventurous contributions in the areas of color photography, sculpture, painting, and digital imagery. Callis—who launched her art career after raising a family—celebrates and subverts everyday situations through her mesmerizing photographs, which present situations that are as tense as they are comfortable. "I wanted to make photographs that were scary and beautiful, sexy and tactile," she says.

Gay Block
Photographer Gay Block is known for her empathetic, telling portraits of girls and women, members of the Jewish community, and Holocaust survivors and rescuers. In 2003 she published Bertha Alyce: Mother exPosed, an acclaimed 30-year portrait of her mother in photographs, video, and words. Several of the works in the exhibition Jo Ann Callis: Woman Twirling were gifts by Block to the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Catherine Opie
Best known for her portraits of gay and transgender men and women, photographer Catherine Opie uses photography to document communities and question our view of the "normal." Her series such as Domestic, Surfers, and Football Players constitute a penetrating social-documentary portrait of contemporary American culture.

Woman Twirling / Callis


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