Francesca Woodman
Eel Series, Roma, May 1977 - August 1978 1977–8

Artwork details

Francesca Woodman 1958–1981
Eel Series, Roma, May 1977 - August 1978
Date 1977–8
Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
Dimensions Image: 219 x 218 mm
Acquisition ARTIST ROOMS
Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Not on display

Online caption

Woodman lies naked, in a vulnerable state, the curve of her body echoing the curved form of the eel. She has printed several similar versions of this image with her body on either side of the eel. While Woodman was studying in Rome between 1977 and 1978 she came into contact with the Symbolist work of Max Klinger, whose influence can be seen in this series. The image is sexually charged, yet in placing herself on both sides of the camera Woodman hovers between being in control and being defenceless, exploring the ways in which femininity can be portrayed. The photograph is not a self-portrait in the conventional sense, as it explores the possibilities of representation, instead of revealing the artist’s identity.

About this artwork