Recovered Gelatin Dry Plates (Unknown American Nudist Colony ca. 1935/2012 is a series of black and white photographs from a 1930s nudist colony that the artist printed from a series of old glass negatives. Each photograph depicts men and women at leisure in various settings, framed by stains and other signs of wear and tear that corrupt these negatives. While in other works the poses of the actors/participants take on an affected theatricality, the figures in these photographs transmit a similar provocation with their naked bodies. And yet, even in the past, the images of the nudist colony illustrate the capacity to act out an autonomous utopia.
“These prints were produced from scans of the titular glass plates, which Thauberger purchased on ebay. The pictures, taken by an unknown photographer, show groups of men, women, and children at leisure in indoor and outdoor settings, all nude, though Thauberger’s prints are victim to the chemical decay of the original plates, resulting in blotchy stains and corrosions of the images that are often striking in their organic complexity and necrotic beauty.” -Saelan Twerdy
Courtesy of Susan Hobbs Gallery
All images ©Althea Thauberger