Resting on a chair just inside the gallery is Leonard’s own diary, Being in Pictures: An Intimate Photographic Memoir. I recommend looking through it. It includes Leonard’s earlier, more intimate photographs of her psychoanalyst mother, her Holocaust survivor father, her identical twin sister, and her daughter Julia as a child, and it helps us better understand Leonard’s inclination toward diaries and everyday records. It also gives us a better understanding of what she sees and responds to.
The most private and stunning photograph juxtaposes a book reproduction of Leonard’s “Julia, half asleep”—a photo of her daughter as a young child, lying naked on a bed, her right arm stretched across her body, her knees bent, feet touching the floor—with a New York Times photograph of Eros in the identical pose. Leonard found the Eros while reading the newspaper one morning in December 2011. “That’s a 2,000 year old bronze!” she says, still amazed.
Clever and thought provoking, Leonard’s Newspaper Diary offers us a different kind of engagement with newspapers and books and, mostly through associations, brings us home. “It’s part of a way of going forward,” she says.
[Originally published in May, 2012.]