Carmen Winant: A Brand New End: Survival and Its Pictures
The moment I held a copy of Carmen Winant’s A Brand New End: Survival and Its Pictures (published by The Print Center), I had questions. The compelling cover design of generic landscapes matched with color made me wonder what was inside.
In the first part of the book, we see 44 pages of newspaper articles gathered and analyzed by the members of the Philadelphia Women’s Death Review Team. This was a truly colossal undertaking where the team met monthly for more than two decades starting in 1996. The layout grabs our attention immediately. These carefully cut and purposefully arranged articles allows us access to the details of women trying to run from abuse, women shot in the head, women stabbed to death.
That leads us to a brief essay by Drew Langer explaining the use of landscape photos on the front and back cover. Next, Catherine Opie’s essay explaining a photograph of a bulletin board circa 1980 is filled with helpful and important info for women needing help.
The section on Hollywood Wife-Beaters and Cheaters was compiled by Carmen Winant. It’s a look at 70’s, 80’s and 90’s magazine covers including two from Donna Ferrato, who has dedicated much of her life to covering the horror of domestic violence in Living with the Enemy. Ferratos’ essay gives us insight into the long-term projects she created.
Essays by Paige Sweet, Ksenia Nouril, Sangai Ravichandran, Ruth M. Glenn, Suzanne Lacy, Laia Abril, Irene L. Brantley and Elias Rodriques further explain the overall context of this complex issue which by the way increased worldwide during the intense period of Covid lockdowns and restrictions.
Winant’s book inspired me to speculate further about the following questions that I have thought about because of my background in domestic violence: Why does the end of love provoke violence? No partner violence is justifiable. When will forty percent of fatalities caused by women partner violence end? How does love turn into hate? What intercessions are made when we witness domestic violence?
I learned when I was young that family life is not always white picket fences with ice cream trucks music playing in the distance. Sometimes the home is a war zone. As a little girl watching the abuse of my mother from the ages of nine through fourteen by her second husband, I was silenced. Today I am no longer silent.
Photographers like Winant and myself create books in the hopes we can change people even a little bit. We want people to understand, and to gain insight and empathy about why people who are being abused stay. Winant’s book helps bring awareness to the topic of domestic violence. She does it with historical photographs and even a sense of nostalgia. May this book spur people to act to help those suffering from domestic abuse.
Carmen Winant (born 1983, San Francisco, CA; lives in Columbus, OH) is an internationally recognized photography-based artist raised in Philadelphia who utilizes installation and collage strategies to examine feminist modes of survival and revolt. Winant’s recent projects have been shown at ICA Boston, MA; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Patron Gallery, Chicago, IL; Wexner Center of the Arts, Columbus, OH; Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; as well as Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway. In 2019, Winant mounted 26 of her billboards across Canada as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Winant’s recent artist books include My Birth (SPBH Editions and Image Text Ithaca Press, 2018); Notes on Fundamental Joy (Printed Matter Inc., 2019); and Instructional Photography: Learning How to Live Now (SPBH Editions, 2021). Her work is part of the collections of Museum of Contemporary Photography (MOCP), Chicago, IL; Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; The Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; as well as Henie Onstad Art Center, Høvikodden, Norway. Winant is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow in photography, a 2020 FCA Grant recipient in Art, and a 2021 American Academy of Arts and Letters Honoree. She holds a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MA and MFA from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco. She has been a Resident and Dean at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Madison, ME.
A Brand New End illuminates the often invisible experiences of women, as well as feminist strategies for survival, revolt and self-determination. It highlights the power of print to depict how women view themselves, and how photography can serve as a tool in the struggle for individual autonomy and self-representation. Through its expansive consideration of image making, domestic violence and the larger feminist movement, A Brand New End critically examines the problems and possibilities of visualizing domestic violence and survival.
The book is hardcover with Swiss binding and foil blocking, and contains 256 pages and 400 illustrations. It includes text contributions by: Laia Abril, Irene L. Brantley, Donna Ferrato, Ruth M. Glenn, Suzanne Lacy, Ksenia Nouril, Catherine Opie, Sangi Ravichandran, Elias Rodriques, Drew Sawyer, Paige L. Sweet and Carmen Winant.
About The Print Center
For more than a century, The Print Center has encouraged the growth and understanding of photography and printmaking as vital contemporary arts through exhibitions, publications and educational programs. The Print Center has an international voice and a strong sense of local purpose. Free and open to the public, it presents changing exhibitions, which highlight established and emerging, local, national and international contemporary artists.
Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.
Lynne Buchanan: The Poetry of BeingSeptember 10th, 2023
Radius Books: Artist Weekend 2023August 28th, 2023
Melissa Catanese : The LotteryAugust 22nd, 2023
Alana Perino: Go To The Land And I Will Show YouAugust 21st, 2023