The box that held my friendship with Francesca Woodman is now an open book. For years kept under wraps, it is now titled as an exhibit and a book, “Francesca Woodman: Portrait of A Reputation.” The book is published by Rizzoli. The exhibit is running until 4/5/20 at MCA Denver.
The opening was thrilling. Lines around the block (some people could not even get in!). Inside was a sea of people diving into how Francesca (and I) lived during those moments when anything was possible and time seemed like an infinite marker we had no need to think about.. My friends seemed thrilled – and all asked me, “Are you happy?” I was so happy to see everyone and share. I was really happy to be happy.
Leading up to the show was a bit of an emotional landmine. Looking back at times of such innocence and joy. Thinking about Francesca in ways I had not let myself before. Imagining what we were thinking 40 years on. Taking responsibility for portraying someone dear to me who is gone. Taking a leap of faith that the curator, Nora Abrams would respect the spirit of the show being about how Francesca lived rather than how she died.
It required some hand holding – Nora holding my hand. It demanded some letting go of trying to control everything (that was the smartest thing I could do with Nora’s very capable vision). The show needed to stay focussed on what I knew and the little I remember. In the end, it was just a chapter from RISD. A sweet chapter I could finally share.
Check out the interview with Nora and I on Colorado Matters: https://www.cpr.org/2019/10/