These photographs represent three of the forty-eight plates made for American artist Marcia Resnick’s photobook Re-visions, published with Toronto’s Coach House Press in 1978. Semi-autobiographical yet universal in nature, Re-visions is an imaginative revisiting of the artist’s own childhood. The narrative series follows an adolescent girl on her passage to womanhood, highlighting the awkward, funny, and at times unsettling moments of growing up. A palpable sexual undercurrent is introduced on the book’s front cover, which features Resnick’s model in the guise of the title character from American filmmaker Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita (1962); Resnick strengthens this association with Vladimir Nabokov’s novel of the same name by dedicating her own book to the novel’s pedophilic antihero, Humbert Humbert.
The glimpse of the girl’s face visible on Resnick’s cover is denied to the viewer in the photographs on the following pages, whose compositions are instead framed around the headless figure or isolated parts of the body. Resnick foregrounds her model in a shallow space and employs iconic gestures to dramatize small episodes—such as putting on nylons or playing with a hula hoop—thereby questioning the authenticity of memory. The deadpan photographs are juxtaposed with pithy texts narrating the experiences of Resnick’s precocious protagonist, referred to only as an unnamed “she.”