A photographer and art historian of provocative sensibilities, Rita Hammond completed A Due Voci immediately before her death in 1999. In this groundbreaking series of reflections on the history of art and photography, Hammond places herself squarely in the camera”s eye and then completes the action by daringly entering the frame.
Using inventive masks and costumes, the artist embarks upon a bold pictorial masquerade. In so doing she recasts celebrated works of art focusing specifically on those of symbolic force. She is the hauntingly voluptuous Marilyn Monroe. She is Nijinsky”s fiery Petrouchka. She is the dream of Picasso”s Harlequin, and the face staring back, shocked, in Escher”s mirror. She is Anne Frank and silent screen vamp Louise Brooks. She is German expressionist Max Beckmann and, always, Rita Hammond. Hammond”s fame in gender-bending reached its zenith with After Mapplethorpe, a sensational androgynous duo of Hammond-as-male-and-female photos inspired by Robert Mapplethorpe”s work. In A Due Voci, Hammond boldly continues to dispute-and often dismantle-standard gender identity. It is a volume that will prove indispensable for students and professionals of visual culture and gender studies