Mother and premature baby, Kassel
United States of America
15 Jan 1951 - 10 Aug 2013
Allan Sekula lives in Los Angeles and teaches at CalArts. He is an artist and theoretician. Sekula is one of the most influential contemporary writers on photography. His own photography springs from the tradition of social realism and his interest is in depicting labour within the workplace. He has developed a visual language that describes people both as individuals and as part of humanity. Sekula has exhibited extensively world wide since the 1970s. His major projects (both visual and textual) include ‘Fish Story’ (1993), a remarkable tale of the worldwide transformation of seaports, maritime military and economic enterprises, and ocean-related labour from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
The starting point for ‘Shipwrecks and workers’ which was presented as large scale billboards for Documenta XII, 2007 was a single photograph made in Istanbul in 1999 which resulted in a portable monument to labour which he has continued to change and add to. In Kassel, the series was enlarged with deliberate reference to life and death and those who both create and care for new life – and its fragility. This contemporary Madonna has been selected to relate (both in scale and in content) to the existing Sekula in the collection – which deals with the human destruction of life and the environment. Unlike ‘Large and small disasters’ however, ‘Mother and premature baby’ has a happy ending where both are healthy.
type C photograph
84.5 x 116.2 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Geoff and Vicki Ainsworth 2008
Not on display
© Allan Sekula
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Referenced in 1 publication
Hilde Van Gelder, A PRIOR magazine, #15, 'Allan Sekula: the Documenta 12 project (and beyond)', Jun 2007, (illus.).