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Nancy Burson «First and Second Beauty Composite»
Nancy Burson, «First and Second Beauty Composite», 1982
Photography | © Burson, Nancy

United States | 35*27 cm (W*H) | Silbergelatine-Prints | photo series

 Nancy Burson
«First and Second Beauty Composite»

First Beauty Composite: Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren & Marilyn Monroe.
Second Beauty Composite: Jane Fonda, Jaqueline Bisset, Diane Keaton, Brooke Shields & Meryl Streep.

«‹Chimera› is an ancient word meaning composite fabulous beast: a goat with a lion’s head and a tail of serpents. One might thus be led to believe that the mythical Ancients knew how to calculate and compute, but one would be mistaken. The mythical chimaera was a collage, a patchwork. If Bellerophon, who fought the Chimaera heroically, had kicked it instead of fighting it heroically, its head would have rolled to one side and its tail to another. This is quite different from the newly emerging, ‹true› chimaera. One may kick Burson’s Big Brother as often as one likes, he will never disintegrate into Hitler, Mussolini and the others. [...]
The new ‹true› chimeras are consistent, autonomous phenomena. This is the way with myths: as soon as they become real, they look different from what was expected.»
(Source: Vilém Flusser, «Nancy Burson. Chimaera», in: Photography after Photography, Hubertus v. Amelunxen, jtly. (eds.), Munich /Amsterdam, 1996, pp.151f.)