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Zoe Leonard: Survey begins directly with Leonard’s images. Devoid of preface or foreword as guidance, the viewer must grapple with the unassuming yet assertive images, driven by their capacity to look.
When Nothing Personal first came out in 1964—just months after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the assassination of President Kennedy—it was meant by its authors, the photographer Richard Avedon and the writer James Baldwin, as a blow to American myths and lies which, in their view, concealed a wasteland of loneliness and despair.
The profile, from the Latin profilare, “to render in outline,” is today a pervasive form. The profile provides the conceptual unit of social networks, while to profile, for a magazine or by a law officer, signifies the act of reducing and distilling a person to a stereotype or sketch.
Madeline Schwartzman’s unconventional methodologies—as a scholar, teacher, writer, artist, and curator—navigate intricate webs through art, science, reality, fantasy, logic and absurdity, though they criss-cross with startling ease in both her books.