Surfing the Spectacle

Burden of Images

Once upon a time, there was a Vogue Model.
She was beautiful. A fashion icon. An exquisite object of desire.


She took artist Man Ray as an early lover. He was a surrealist.
She became one too. She started taking photographs.


She had a particular way of seeing the world.


And she knew everyone. She was famous. When the war came,
she did not watch it from afar.


She became a war photographer. A correspondent for Vogue.


She followed soldiers, nurses. She was unafraid.


In the war, she found the annihilation of beauty. The image of the human animal capable of any degradation.

Victims and victimizers. SS guards.




It all made its mark. She lost her love of the image. She lost her beauty.
She aged. There was depression. Alcohol. For the last 25 years of her life,
she is said to have regarded her photographs with contempt.

She seemed to leave much of her old self behind.

Her name was Lee Miller.

She turned to cooking. She became an excellent cook.

There is something to consider here.

The Lee Miller archives on the Web display a number of her photographs.
Several short essays about her work can be found online, including this one.

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