The roots of this book lie in the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY, where Sally Stein and Gail Rebhan met in the 1980s, discovering their shared interests in feminism and critical modes of thinking and seeing – especially those that involved shades of the comic. They stayed in touch over the course of the intervening decades, Stein pursuing teaching and writing about the history of photography while Rebhan pursued teaching and image-making in various formats, with increasing recourse to text as an integral part of her graphic statements. When Rebhan was invited to show a retrospective at the American University Museum, she invited Stein to serve as guest curator.
Led by Stein’s insightful and often humorous commentary, this book charts Rebhan’s unique artistic and political progressions, from early works using serial snapshot photographs to track the repetitive actions of domestic life through to wider-reaching studies of gentrification and inequality her home city of Washington, DC. The publication culminates with her most recent series, which examines the ways her own body bears the marks of time that women especially have learned to fear. Among the incisive, inquisitive, and politically engaged work in this collection, Rebhan’s consistent rejection of photography’s affiliation with stillness and silence in favour of sequence and transformation reveals time itself as the artist’s perennial muse.