Guest edited by W.M. Hunt, this issue of Aperture features work by photographers and scientists in their efforts to capture delirium on paper. Images ranging from contemporary through 19th Century show how delirium, clinical or colloquial, has been documented, analyzed, codified, worked over, and wondered about for the last 150 years, together creating a psychic agitation that can be as dark as it is witty.
For twenty years, I've been a collector of magical and heartstopping photographs, pictures of people whose eyes cannot be seen. Their eyes are veiled, masked, averted, or somehow obscured. The subjects fly through the air or face away, their backs to the camera.
"RROSE IS A RROSE IS A RROSE: Gender Performance in Photography," opened at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, January 17, 1997, traveling to the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, August 17—November 30, 1997. It's happened, folks: Everything interesting is academic.
Last summer, taking a break from a conference on "Literature and Environment," I noticed a greeting card in a Colorado bookshop and saw what I thought at first was a beautiful landscape. Only when I stepped closer did I see that this landscape had a belly button.
Over thirty-five years of collaboration, every time we mentioned Dorothy Norman in Aperture's pages it was necessary to describe her with an improbable string of titles: editor, writer, columnist, photographer, publisher. That, of course, was just the starting point.
Karen Hust has just finished a dissertation in English at Yale University titled Facing the Maternal Sublime: Women Rewrite Mother Nature in Romantic Landscape Tradition. She looks forward to taking the teaching of literature and environmental awareness into the field, where students can examine their own relationships with nature.