We had the chance to see the wonderful photography of Jennifer B. Hudson recently at Corden Potts Gallery in San Francisco. Her series, titled Medic, stood out from all the other photography in the many galleries we viewed that day.
Staged tableaux with a gorgeous sepia, vintage patina, Jennifer’s works feature what appear to be patients in a mental institution, getting mysterious treatments from even more mysterious machines. Some are being consoled or attended to by others. Each image is shot in a cell-like room, stark and barren except for the people and the fabricated equipment within. Some have minimal beds, strange apparatus and a sole desk or chair. The ambiance is a mix of Steampunk, Victorian and theater-like stage scenery. With a meditative and almost spiritual quality to the human poses and interactions, they beg you to ask what is happening here? Are they getting medical treatments? Are they praying, grieving or doing penance? These are intimate and serious glimpses into some private worlds. Voyeuristic and strongly intriguing images which allow to the viewer to imply their own reality in a disconcerting way.
LINK – To all the Medic photographs and Jennifer’s site
Medic is a sensitive, intricate glimpse into human relationships during times of need and recovery, and a heartfelt exploration of sacrificial love. The work began wholly on one sentence whispered by my husband while we endured a deeply unsettling time together. He held my hand, lay close to me and said softly “I just wish I could take the pain from your body, and put it into mine.” I have been fortunate to know incredible love all my life, but at that moment I became suddenly and intensely aware of the magnificent power that exists between people who care for one another. When I was anxious and fighting to fall asleep each night, I began to invent miracle machines; contraptions that heal, deliver hope, legacy, remedy, and redemption. Each image from Medic is a thoughtful invention, strange and tender, revealing facets of the delicate human heart. In ten isolated chambers we are witnesses to emotional happenings, exchanges, confrontations, and life decisions.
I became particularly fascinated with illustrating the depth of a love relationship by portraying only the individual in many images, exploring the weight of partnership, the sacrificial life perspective, and the burdened, selfless decision-maker. In some chambers, we witness life changing moments; mercy, healing, humbling choices, memories recorded and legacies written. In others we see an exchange; affection, tenderness, and sacrifice. In the making of this work, I sought to begin to understand some of the most rare and beautiful relationships in the world, to expose their most frail, vulnerable moments, times of great intensity, and most cherished inner workings. - Via Jennifer
While browsing her portfolio, we were also very taken with another series of photos by Jennifer, titled Flora. Two images are featured here, below.