Martha’s Vineyard 114B
Martha’s Vineyard 114B, 1954
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Mr. Robert B. Menschel 77.145.21
(September 21, 2012 – January 13, 2013)
In Martha’s Vineyard 114B, Aaron Siskind focuses on two small rocks nestled in a stone wall. As Siskind explained, he “began to feel the importance of how these rocks hovered over each other, touched each other, pushed against each other.” He likened this contiguity to family relationships, especially that between mother and child. He believed that the pair of rocks pictured in the photograph would—consciously or not—evoke emotions in the viewer, and that these emotions were both deep-seated and universal. In his depiction of the landscape, he found metaphors for what he called “human drama.”(October 10, 2003 – January 11, 2004)
“One day when I was shooting I began to think…[of] the way these rocks shelter other rocks, how they pressed on each other and I began to feel the pressures and the relationships. I began to think about a family I was very close to and the relationship between the parents and the children….And somehow thinking of that helped me resolve a lot of problems with the formations of the rocks….It seems far fetched, and no one would ever think of it, but it was that thinking that enabled me to take these pictures.” Siskind, from transcript of Judith Wechsler’s film, Aaron Siskind: Making Pictures, 1991.