Publisher: Arbeiter Ring
Released: January 4, 2008
Framing Identity examines how Canadian women at the turn of the 20th century used photography as a social practice to establish identity. Specifically, Close studies the photographic practices of four female photographers: Mattie Gunterman (1872–1945), Geraldine Moodie (1854–1945), Ruby Gordon Peterkin (1887–1961), and Etta Sparks (1879–1917). From a revisionist point of view, Close argues that photography is a social practice used by women professionals and amateurs as a vehicle to explore and establish identity. Framing Identity defines photography as social practice and examines how women moved beyond making pictorial images to using photography as a form of speech to represent social issues. Key concepts and practices drawn from cultural analysis and issues related to identity, gender, post-colonialism, tourism and travel are mapped out. Close considers Gunterman's photographs as a form of visual narrative within the context of the family album and the practice of amateur, women photographers. Moodie's portraits of the Inuit are examined in terms of professional photographic practice and discourse on the representation of the Other. The book also analyzes the photographic albums of two Canadian army nurses, Peterkin and Sparks, who were stationed overseas during World War I. Close concludes her study with an overview of the history of women in photography in Canada and investigates various aspects of womens' interaction with the medium.