Emergence by Cynthia Macadams with introduction by Kate Millett
New York : Chelsea House, 1977. First edition. Hardcover. 120 pages ; b/w photographs ; 27 cm. $15.00 dust jacket. Foxing to side edges. Pages are unmarked and binding is sound.
Emergence: the active process of revelation; a growing movement from obscurity to light. Captured in the striking photography of Cynthia MacAdams are the spirit, character, and image of women emerging. Women depicted with the intensity of the camera's eye: dynamic, forceful, filled with a hitherto unrecorded commitment to themselves, to each other, and to life. Women of strength and power. Women of pain and anonymity. A new kind of woman graphically portrayed by one who is herself emerging.
Each woman in Emergence has a particular viewpoint and reaction to life that manifests itself in her body. The body, according to the degree of awareness, radiates light. I've chosen these women because each one has a strong radiation of light from her forcefield. Each one emanates positivity and strength. They survive on their own will power. I believe that when they leave their bodies and go on, that what they've done will endure as commendable and ethical and pure. What I've seen in each of these women is a total commitment, be she actress, painter, sculptor or writer, each one has had a great deal of integrity and conviction. Some have received recognition. Some of them are unknowns. Some, everybody knows. But it really doesn't matter because we're so commercially brainwashed that we have to learn to rely on our own intuition. The women I've chosen matter to me. They're my teachers. Whether it's an old woman taking me on long walks in the Rockies. Or it's Kate Millett teaching me politics. Or it's shaman Alice Neel teaching me about auras. Or it's Lily Tomlin teaching me how to laugh. Or it's Shelley Winters teaching me discipline. Or it's Mary Farkas teaching me to meditate. Each one has nourished me and helped me to understand myself. -Cynthia MacAdams, 1977
Cynthia MacAdams left the frustrations of acting to take up the camera; her first subjects, as she says in her autobiographical note, were "women who had strength in their eyes and directness in the way they dealt with life. I respected their strength."
The camera, MacAdams finds, "is a tool to express love . . . each picture is a part of me and I live with it . . . when I find a moment, it's orgasmic."
Embodied in the book, clear and bright to the beholder, is what MacAdams calls the "sensual, sexual, spiritual, experience of photographing these women" who range from street people to noted actresses, writers, poets, playwrights, such as Colleen Dewhurst, Patti Smith, Kate Millett, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Anne Waldman, Gloria Steinem.
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