Mary Beth Heffernan

For a more recent CV or bio please visit the artist's website,
CitizenshipUnited States
Cultural HeritageEuropean-American
Light Work RelationshipLight Work Grant, 1997
Light Work PublicationsContact Sheet 93




In the Fold Series, Mary Beth Heffernan (Syracuse, NY) staged a series of studio photographs of sculpted forms of meat and skin. According to the artist, 'the Fold Series attempts to invert the aestheticization of pathology by convulsing image and body; folds of skin appear like folds of drapery, errant hairs prick the senses, and unctuous flesh, glossed by our own glance.'

Heffernan's photographs echo back to nineteenth century photographs of anatomy specimens and share similar enigmatic quality to the still-life photographs of Frederick Sommer whose surreal studio constructions of flesh and animal parts, both shocked and seduced Aperture readers in the 1960s.

The Fold Series plays off notions of what is real and what is prefabricated. Heffernan's deliberate manipulation of light, shadow, and the arrangement of the forms, leaves only a veiled trace of the original object, echoing the deceptive quality of the photographic image itself.