© Anne Arden McDonald
Untitled Self Portrait #22, California, 1989
© Anne Arden McDonald
Untitled Self Portrait #67, New York, 1995

“For Anne Arden McDonald, dreams and reality merge, rather than splitting apart. To escape the unbearable feeling of powerlessness to which her human limitations confine her, she exceeds them. She imagines herself free to float and breathe in the water and to fly in the air. This is a subjective vision of a world, a stunningly solitary universe–what parades before our eyes is deployed in a mythic space: a sort of non-place, a world that lends itself to all the imaginary reconstructions in which a woman who is both bird and fish evolves according to her own desires. The expressive use of light seeks to capture the unique mystery in which dreams so deliciously envelop themselves. For all their extreme precision, these black-and-white photographs are imbued with a disturbing lyricism that seeks to evoke the ecstasy that is both distressing and dramatic. What is seen here as the impulse behind an intimate gesture moves spontaneously from the depths to the surface, from the unconscious to the conscious. The ascent toward the ultimate and the anguish underlying such an attempt are unbearable.

Celine Mayrand, CV Photo Magazine, 1997

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