Marie Rousseauís exhibit, The Fragile Borders of Identity, is
another in this seasonís series of experiments in combining
the graphic with the photographic. Less glitzy than some, it
is also more coherent than many, in part because Ms. Rousseau
has spent time working out a vocabulary for combining the mark
of the hand with the photographic image.
Her technique seems to come more
from drawing than from painting- many of the images, in fact,
are monochromatic. As a photographer, she works directorially,
making formal portraits and staged tableaux that are then enlarged
(up to 40 inches by 60 inches) and reworked with paint, ink
and other media.
At her best, she makes her pictures
palpitate kinetically; figures and settings in uneasy dramas
dissolve into and/or radiate flickering force fields that she
adds manually to the prints. She slips into pre-Raphaelite pictorialism
too easily, but when she pursues her particular demon- male-
female relationships- she has all the earmarks of someone who
is on to something.
The New York Observer
December 5, 1988