In the course of his daily routine as a parent dropping off his children at school in Lower Manhattan, Selkirk was continually struck by the stature and bearing of his female contemporaries, the mothers of his generation who—in juggling jobs, family, and the illusion of personal fulfillment—were now suddenly, for the first time, expected to be able to have it all. The project grew into a series of extended road trips, eventually spanning twenty-five years and much of the country.
Selkirk used a circa-1900 12x15-inch wood and leather view camera that he had modified to accept 11x14-inch sheet film. He fitted the camera with an uncoated 16½-inch Goertz Dagor lens that rendered a highly detailed yet humanity-embracing image, supplanting the indiscriminate craving for definition of contemporary optics. The camera’s huge bulk caused him to be removed from the women’s attention, allowing them a sense of solitude as he took the picture. The resulting negatives were drum scanned by Robert Hennessey. The forty-four individually signed prints were printed by Selkirk using seven monochrome piezographic inks that he mixed for color himself, thereby securing an unprecedented tonal range. Designed and supervised by Gregory Wakabayashi, the book is hand bound with its own slipcase by Judith Ivry with the text printed in letterpress by Peter Kruty.
Hand bound with slipcase
Limited edition of 25 copies plus 4 artists proofs
14½ x 16½ inches
Photographs and text: Neil Selkirk