Academic journal article Afterimage

Marnie Gillett 1953-2004

Academic journal article Afterimage

Marnie Gillett 1953-2004

Article excerpt

Marnie Gillett, the executive director of SF Camerawork for the past twenty years, died of breast cancer on Friday December 3, 2004, in her San Francisco home. She will be remembered as an extraordinary, creative and insightful curator as well as a very successful administrator who asserted SF Camerawork as a major component of the American photographic scene.

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Gillett helped discover new talents and organized several key exhibitions in the lives of such now renowned artists as Robert Mapplethorpe (whose work she showed a few months after moving to Camerawork). Joel Peter Witkin, Judy Dater, Robert Dawson, Graciela Iturbide, Barbara Kruger, Sally Mann, Abelardo Morell, Shana and Robert Parke-Harrison, Sylvia Plachy, Carry Mae Weems, and the Starn Twins, among a very long list. She also worked with talented young curators who went on developing their own careers: Geoffrey Batchen, Jeanne Finley, Rupert Jenkins, Diana Gaston....

Two of her most memorable shows are the ground-breaking Digital Photography: Captured Images, Volatile Memory, New Montage co-curated with Jim Pomeroy in 1988, and the more recent Moving Targets: The Art of Resistance (2004) on issues regarding the war in Iraq. In 1999, the year of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Camerawork, she co-curated Rattling the Frame: The Photographic Space 1974-1999, a survey of the work of innovative photographers who had challenged the medium in the past 25 years. She was also a very active editor and writer of Camerawork, the organization's magazine. Launched as a newsletter in 1974, the publication became one of the best photographic magazines in the country. …

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