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Aaron Siskind's Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation

07/07/14

If you ever wanted to know what tumbling through space unencumbered looks like, have a look at Aaron Siskind's "Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation" series, an athletic set of images taken during the '50s and '60s featuring guys in various states of motion. Siskind's work, always in black and white, often explored textures and shadows, the drama of high contrast. In "Pleasures," Siskind focussed on the capable athleticism of Chicago's youth, capturing movement mid-tumble, without offering any reference as to whether or not each guy was coming or going, falling towards the earth or catapulting into the sky. It's like a Robert Longo portrait, sans angst and business suits. Or, like, a scene from Gravity, sans spaceship, Sandra Bullock or that George Clooney dude. So, yeah, maybe not like that at all. 

Photos courtesy of Aaron Siskind.