Vue de Dos

Malick Sidibé (1936–2016) Vue de Dos, 2002 Gelatin silver print, painted glass, cardboard, tape, and string 17 × 13 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg 2011.12.3

Constructed as an exploration of female subjectivity and sensuality, Vues de Dos reflects Malick Sidibé’s interest in capturing the backs of his sitters rather than bodies in profile. His photographs subvert the studio portrait in full-length compositions where the subjects reject the gaze of the photographer. By offering only their backs, movement, rather than nudity, becomes the key component of female sensuality, intimacy, and power.