The photographs of Linda Leven began with a chance encounter on the subway in 2015. Linda and Elizabeth Bick developed a highly collaborative relationship since. The resulting pictures are a dedication to Linda.
At the age of 20, Linda moved to New York to be significant and to be recognized. Her dreams were not realized in the way she expected, although she has been a muse to many photographers, the subject of video works and films, and has written several epic novels. Bick see her as an emblem of the working artist. After relinquishing her dream to be a professional dancer, she earned two degrees in mathematics from NYU, and worked full-time at IBM for 30 years, all the while posing as a muse, writing, and acting. Linda has lived in the same apartment for over 50 years, and is the location where the majority of these images were made. Some of the images in the exhibition are from her personal archive of images of herself.
The title of the show is based on the Epilogue from the short story Linda wrote in 2016 as a collaborative book project, and is loosely based on her lived experience being photographed by three female photographers whom she met randomly in NYC (myself included). The protagonist, Anne Sinclaire, a muse who is at the end of her life, yearns to leave something significant behind, perhaps through these three female photographers.
Below is an excerpt from the epilogue in her novella:
But there was more, much more that this film, Making It, and Anne Sinclaire’s life eventually spawned. Anne’s planned death to acquire her fame and the fame of those around her gave rise to-on the internet, in the media, and on university campuses worldwide-a major philosophical discussion on the acquisition of “recognition and fame” for outstanding achievement in the twenty- first century and beyond. It became known as the Anne Sinclaire question-a question pertaining to our time-the twenty-first century. How does one define fame today? How and why do we seek it?