Penny Slinger: An Exorcism: A Photo Romance (Hardcover)
Sultry and gothic, Slinger's legendary 1970s photomontage project returns to print with new photos and text from the artist
Penny Slinger is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work investigates the feminine, the magical and the erotic. While studying at Chelsea College of Art in the late 1960s, Slinger encountered Max Ernst's Une semaine de bont (1934), initiating an enduring involvement with both the Surrealist movement and the medium of collage. In her first publication, 50% The Visible Woman (1971), Slinger explored the image of woman through a series of often provocative photomontage self-portraits and poetic texts. Such themes resonated keenly with the emerging feminist movement, and in 1973 Rolling Stone noted: "this book will become as important on your bookshelf as Sgt. Pepper's is on your record rack."
With An Exorcism: A Photo Romance, Slinger explores the feminine psyche further. Developed from a visit to Lilford Hall in 1970 with her then-partner, the filmmaker Peter Whitehead, Slinger provides us with a series of haunting images that chart a process of self-discovery and awakening that was described by Sheldon Williams as "a cascade of photo-collage imagery which has all the emergent trepidation of Hesse's Steppenwolf." First published in 1977 with a grant from Roland Penrose's Elephant Foundation, the original edition has been long out of print. This new edition from Fulgur Press has been expanded with new images from the original series held in the artist's archive and offers a previously unpublished narrative by Slinger that speaks to the personal and eternal themes of the book.
Penny Slinger (born 1947) works in a variety of mediums but is best known for her surrealist collage work exploring the nature of the female psyche. She has published three books of photo collage: 50% The Visible Woman, An Exorcism and Mountain Ecstasy. Her work is in many international museum collections, including Tate Britain.