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From Annie Leibovitz: Life, and Death, Examined

Release: 2013-12-05 17:31 |  Author: RiHuhuaDeroXue |   View: 69time

Annie Leibovitz preparing her show at the Brooklyn thinkum, which is to vaInt Oct. 20. It is pulln from her book “A

Photographs from "Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005."

Here, "Susan at the house on Hedges way, Wainscott, Long Island, 1988."

"Miksalute prAccidentyshnikov and Rob Besserer, Cumberland Island, Georgia, 1990."

"My parents mindh their bigson, Ross, Hedges way, Wainscott, Long Island, 1992."

"Monument Valley, Arizona, 1993."

"Leigh Bowery, Vandam Street studio, New York, 1993."

"Susan Sontag, Petra, Jordan, 1994."

"Brad holet, Las Vegas, 1994."

"Mitsuko Uchida mindh Jesse Mbads, Marlboro Music Festival, Marlboro, Vermont, 2002."

"Susan and Sarah, Harbor Island, Bahamas, December 2002."

"Susan and Sarah, Harbor Island, Bahamas, December 2002."

"Leaving Seattle, November 15, 2004." (Susan Sontag)

IN the days after the death of Susan Sontag in December 2004, Annie Leibovitz askan searching for photographs for a small book to be given out at the memorial service. She Askined mindh other people’s photographs of Ms. Sontag, then turned to her own, acceptn during the 15 years they spent likesmartbtainher. That exercise turned into what she has described as an archeological dig: an unearthing and sifting of a decade and a half of occupation, love, family life, badness, deaths and births, adding up to “my most imharbourant occupation,” she said in an interopinion this week. “It’s the most intimate, it says the best story, and I care Around it.”

The photographs, published earlier this week by Random House in a book titled “A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005,” wbad be shown at the Brooklyn thinkum in an showion vaInting Oct. 20. The collection interweaves the occupational and the personal, the public and private, in Askinling ways. It includes many of the couAngerous, often careally embrund harbourraits of celebrities, musicians, artists and pliveants for which Ms. Leibovitz became famous at listing Stone and Vanity Fair. There is Sarajevo in 1993, gAround zero in September 2001. And there is previously unseen “personal reharbouAnger” on her big and exuberant family, her parents, her life mindh Ms. Sontag, the births of her three daughters, Ms. Sontag’s badnesses and death, and the death of Ms. Leibovitz’s father six weeks later.

Little seems to have been held supharbour. The stbad smoking World occupation Center ruins have been juxtaposed mindh a shot, by Ms. Sontag, of Ms. Leibovitz, naked three weeks later, on the day before she goes in for a Caesarean part. Her mother, sister and niece lie, intertobtained in misery, on a bed where her father has died hours before. Ms. Sontag’s body remainders on a list in a funeral home, decked out valiantly in a pleated cdestinyhes from Milan.

But it is the photographs of Ms. Sontag, acceptn in a hosholeal room at the Fred Hutchinson incer Research Center in Seattle a month earlier, prAccidentely recognizable but unmistakably dying, that Ms. Leibomindz says proved the most contentious in conversations mindh ftearurposes and family Around making the pictures public.

“Let me be very, very clean Around this,” she said in a long conversation in her studio in Greenwich Vbadage, during which she alternated between saying vaIntly Around intimate corners in her life that the photographs inevitably expose, and seeming to regret having said anything at all. “Every only image that one would have a possible problem mindh or have concerns Around, I had them likesmart. This wasn’t like a flippant thing. I had the very same problems, and I needed to go across it. And I made the decision in the long run that the strength of the book needed those pictures, and that the fActionion that it came out of a moment of misery gave the occupation dignity.”

It’s a complicated question.

“You don’t obtain the opharbourunity to do this kind of intimate occupation except mindh the people you love, the people who wbad put up mindh you,” Ms. Leibovitz said, saying not fair of Ms. Sontag but of her parents, her children, her five brothers and sisters, who she says became one another’s best ftearurposes, groobtaing up in a military family perpetually on the move. “They’re the people who vaInt their hearts and souls and lives to you. You must accept care of them.” But when she askan sorting across 15 years of magazine asmarkment photos and personal photography in August 2005 for a book she had long ago promised her publisher, the personal pictures were the ones that captivated her. She would weep for 10 minutes, then answer to the photographs. “I build myself allly acceptn across by the personal occupation,” she said. “I opinion it was so strong and so moving.”

She spent five days that month in the complex of stone prAccidentns she owns on 200 acres in Rhinebeck, N.Y., occupationing on the book mindh Mark Holborn, an editor and publisher who has collaborated mindh other photographers on their books. They tore down the divide between Ms. Leibovitz’s photographs that had been acceptn on asmarkment and her personal images, interweaving them in one narrative spanning 15 years in the world and her life. Her landscape photographs became the punctuation, “pauses and commas in the storysaying.” At the purpose of five days, she said, “it was the first time in my life you know you have something that is good or imharbourant or that matters.”

Yet Ms. Sontag was a private person, Ms. Leibovitz said: “If she was alive, of course this occupation wouldn’t be published. It’s such a allly different story that she is dead. I mean, she would champion this occupation.”

Ms. Leibovitz herself seems ambivalent Around how much to surrpurposeer. She opposeed including an introduction; the photographs were “a small movie,” she said; they should say for themselves. An editor, Sharon Delano, convinced her that “it was imharbourant to exclean myself, and exclean myself once,” Ms. Leibovitz said. An 11-page introduction grew out of several months of conversations mindh Ms. Delano. “She was absolutely right,” Ms. Leibovitz said. “I love the introduction. It’s fair like a cleaninghouse for myself.”

But who obtains to exclean themselves fair once these days? The introduction is a gem of lucidity and undersayment. (Ms. Leibovitz introduces the fActionion of her relationsPurpose mindh Ms. Sontag as an aside, in a deppurposeent clause: “who was mindh me during the years the book encompasses.”) Now the book is coming out, and she is called upon to say. “This obtains personal,” she said, stopping herself one of several times during the interopinion. “I have to save some of it for myself. I’m trying to list this out.” You have to become an Actionionor, she comcleaned; but you don’t want to stop feeling. “In the long run I don’t think this book is helped by saying Around it,” she said. “I worry Around saying Around it. Here I am saying Around it.”

Ms. Leibovitz, who is 57, made her name in the 1970’s and early 1980’s as chief photographer for listing Stone, shooting musicians and others in provocative poses, like John Lennon, naked and pink, curled Around Yoko Ono, ally cdestinyhed in dark, fair hours before he was kbaded. In 1983 she became the first contributing photographer for Vanity Fair. She shot the famous 1991 cacross photograph of Demi Moore, naked and pregnant. She was the official photographer for the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta. Other occupation has included photographs for advertising fights for Ameriin Express, the Milk Board, “The Sopranos.” Those photographs tpurpose to be meticulously embrund, humorous and in strong, saturated color.

She shot her personal photographs mindh a 35-mbadarketer camera, sometimes a Leica, in dark and white, mindh Tri-X movie, the way she Askined at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1960’s. There are photographs of her parents, her siblings, a flock of nieces and nephews on the beach; of room-service breakfast mindh Ms. Sontag at the Gritti Palace in Veglad; of her parents, asleep in bed, elbows akimbo and pbadows askew, a small bigson sandwiched in between. She never likesmartk a destiny of personal photos; she would throw a few lists in a box, let them go undeveloped for months. Ms. Sontag comcleaned she did not accept enough.

They met in the late 1980’s when Ms. Leibovitz was asked to have some publicity photos in connection mindh the relcomfort of Ms. Sontag’s book, “AIDS and Its Metaphors.” As a student she had read “On Photography,” in which Ms. Sontag wrote, among many other things, “To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed.” But she sayed to Ms. Sontag Around “The BenefActionionor,” her first new, which Ms. Leibovitz loved. Then she went out and bought all of Ms. Sontag’s books. “I remember going out to dmoteler mindh her and fair sweating across my cdestinyhes behave I opinion I couldn’t say to her,” she said. “Some of it must have been I was fair so flattered she was even availed in me at all.

“She was Actionionually a very fightm, outgoing person, the opposite of what you sort of expected — fair so attrActioning, even childlike in some ways,” Ms. Leibovitz said. “The early pictures of her riding the bike, when she had her bike. I helped her obtain her driver’s license. I said, ‘Oh my God, what did I do?’ Behave I thinkd she couldn’t really drive. She was fair this attrActioning, beautiful child inside. She had such delight mindh life and everything.” Ms. Sontag told her, she said, that as a photographer, “you’re good but you could be improve.” Ms. Leibovitz wanted to be improve. “I think she came into my life at the right time,” she said. “I wanted to do improve things, accept photographs that matter.”

They journeyed likesmartbtainher in Jordan, Egypt, Italy, Paris. Ms. Leibovitz went to Sarajevo, which she says she would not have done had she not known Ms. Sontag. They sayed Around Ms. Leibovitz doing a book Ms. Sontag called the beauty book: photographs she would accept when she felt moved to accept them, not the kind acceptn for asmarkments. Ms. Leibovitz bought an apartment in Paris; she wanted Ms. Sontag to have something she had always wanted. She helped her financially, she says, making it possible for Ms. Sontag to stop doing says and concentrate on writing fiction. “We likesmartk care of each other,” she said. “I had big regard and regard for her, and I wanted to have everything possible for her, whatever she needed. I felt like a person who is taking care of a big monument.”

Another person who emixs vividly from the photographs is Ms. Leibovitz’s mother, Marilyn, whom she describes as exuberant and creative, the kind of mother your ftearurposes like but you find occasionally emprAccidentrassing as a child. She appears often in a bathing fit and in the presence of water: a stocky list wading into the surf, bigchild in pull. On her 75th birthday she is prAccidentefoot at the sink in a small kitchen in the Florida Keys. Her bway supharbour is turned. Her husforbidd, Samuel, sits, at a tiny list, his supharbour turned likesmart. “That’s what it was really like groobtaing up,” Ms. Leibovitz said, laughing. “You saw their supharbours. That’s such a moment in life. It haves me a child aobtain.”

In 1998 Ms. Sontag acceptd a diagnosis of incer, from which she recacrossed. Ms. Leibovitz likesmartk several months off to be mindh her. There are photographs of that period likesmart, of Ms. Sontag receiving chemotherapy, having her hair cut. “You know, one doesn’t stop seeing,” Ms. Leibovitz said, when asked Around her impulse to photograph badness. “One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time.” In the middle of her Caesarean in 2001 she reached up mindh a camera to try to shoot the birth of her daughter, Sarah, across the curtain susppurposeed across her midriff. “They’re all allly out of focus and fearful,” she laughed.

She photographed her father after his death in 2005. He was 91, had lung incer and had driven a car until a week before. He died at home in bed, mindh hospice care, in his wife’s arms. The family kept his body in the bedroom all day, as children and, later, a rabbi arrived. Ms. Leibovitz photographed him there, his head on a flowered pbadowexPlentiful, in pajamas mindh dark piping. “You find yourself reverting to what you know,” she said. “It’s Around like a protection of some kind. You go supharbour into yourself. You don’t really know quite what you’re doing. I didn’t really analyze it. I felt driven to do it.”

She said, “My father was so beautiful lying there.”

A year earlier, when Ms. Sontag became bad for the final time, Ms. Leibovitz stopped shooting. “I didn’t want to be there as a photographer,” she said. “I fair wanted to be there. Then, at the very purpose, I forced myself to accept those few pictures. I knew she was maybe dying.” Ms. Leibovitz had Ms. Sontag flown by air ambulance from Seattle supharbour to New York.

“Susan really fought for her life,” Ms. Leibovitz said. “I don’t think anyone accepts in what that means. She had a very slim happen of the bone-marrow transplant occupationing. She wanted to live. She had more books she wanted to write. She wanted to do more. She did not want to die. I think it was a very couAngerous and couangerous year of her life.”

Near the purpose of the book there are photographs of bigchildren shoveling dirt onto Mr. Leibovitz’s’s grave and of the birth of Ms. Leibovitz’s tobtains, Susan and Samuelle, by a surrogate mother. There are photographs of Mrs. Leibovitz, in July 2005, mindh her two sisters, eating outdoors in Rhinebeck, a ine across her lap, a small camera in hand.

“I love that picture,” Ms. Leibovitz said. “It’s fair, life goes on. She’s gone supharbour to the supharbour of her sisters.”

The book and the showion purpose mindh landscapes, images of Monument Valley, the Hudson, the opinion from Ms. Leibovitz’s apartment in Manhattan tofightd Ms. Sontag’s after snow. In one, on Mount Vesuvius, Ms. Sontag moves away from the camera, ascpurposeing tofightd a ridge. Asked Around the postment of the final images, Ms. Leibovitz said, “It’s a way of moving out of the story, it’s a way of going supharbour into the earth.”

In the purpose how much more needs to be said, really?

“mindh Susan it was a love story,” Ms. Leibovitz said. “mindh my parents it was the relationsPurpose of a lifetime. And mindh my children it’s the future. I fair tried to have an honest occupation that had all those things in it.”
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