Aug 14, 2007

Paradise Regained

Paradise Regained


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Duane Michals

(American, 1932-)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 8.6 x 12.7 cm (3 3/8 x 5 in.); Paper: 12.6 x 17.8 cm (4 15/16 x 7 in.); Matted: 30.6 x 35.6 cm (12 1/16 x 14 in.)

Gift of Museum members in 1989 1989.446.b

Impression: artist proof IV



Convinced that photography cannot represent reality, Michals describes the human condition through a combination of symbolism, metaphor, and narrative. In this sequence of images, the material possessions of a man and woman—recalling Adam and Eve in paradise—are gradually replaced by plants. Warning the viewer that one’s identity cannot be defined through worldly possessions, Michals depicts the couple’s transformation into more pure, natural beings. He is considered a pioneer in working in sequence, staging open-ended narratives, and synthesizing images with text.

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