She Shoots Film


Film Photography By Women

Grete Stern - Photomontages for a psychoanalysis column

Back in 1948 when German photographer Grete Stern was commissioned to produce photo-montages for the psychoanalysis column of the Argentinian women's magazine Idilio she didn't know how to use Photoshop. In fact Photoshop didn't even exist yet, even though this seems entirely unimaginable now! Still, this didn't keep her, a scholar of the prestigious Bauhaus, from creating some of the most stunning and surreal montages that we have seen so far. To quote David Vajda:

"If Hitchcock and Buñuel had ever collaborated to create surreal black and white photomontages, the result might have looked very similar."

Her "Dreams" are inspiring to us not only because of their superbly surreal quality but also because many of her montages have a distinctly feminist outlook, while at the same time poking fun at the fears of middle class women. We are sure that if she were still creating Freudian/Feminist photo-montages to this day, she would indeed create a completely analog "dream" that incorporates Photoshop itself as a menace to her female protagonists. How exactly this dream would look like, we will sadly never know. Stern gave up her photographic work in 1985 after 58 years of practice and passed away in 1999.

For more on Greta Stern, visit Argentina Independent or you can find more on Stern's Dreams in this video.