Laura Larson is an American artist
Episode 287: Laura Larson is an American artist whose practice includes staged photographs and re-interpretations of photographic history’s phenomenal if marginalized histories.
Laura’s recent book City of Incurable Women was just published by Saint Lucy Books, an inimitable publishing project run by Mark Alive Durant. The book is a study about the uncomfortable history of psychiatric practices in 19th century Paris regarding the studies of Jean-Martin Charcot and his observations and experiments on hysteria at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris. The historical meets the contemporary in Laura’s work. She deftly wades through the difficult history of photographic imagery as it pertains to the clinic with exemplary use of archival imagery in combination with her own images of contemporary dancers whom she has choreographed in response to the historical images of hysteria.
Laura’s knowledge and in-depth passion for her subject matter made the conversation an absolute pleasure. We also spoke Laura’s other bodies of work that also consider history, particularly her book Hidden Mother, also published by Saint Lucy books. We spoke about her various bodies of work and the idea that permeates the work from spirit photography to absence. The whole of Laura’s career is a continual evolution and you can see the work’s themes progress through a cursory glance of her site. She is consistent and the work is fascinating. Laura and I additionally spoke about our combined efforts of workshopping photography as well as curating and writing within the medium. Please tune in!