[Name of Student] [Name of Instructor] [Course] [Date] Untitled (2001) by Gregory Crewdson Gregory Crewdson’s staged photograph “Untitled 2001”, also referred to as “Ophelia”, depicts a woman in her night clothes apparently drowning but in a drawing room…
The figure of Ophelia has long been symbolic of the silencing of women in literature and in the larger context of society itself. Crewdson uses the same principle to create his work. It is interesting to note that the artistic representations of Ophelia changes media over time as well. Starting from the famous oil on canvas painting of Ophelia by John Everett Millais, the more haunting painting of Ophelia by Pierre Auguste Cot to the rich, pastoral representation by painter Henry Nelson O’ Neil, the image of the manic depressive drowning herself seemed to have struck a chord with several artists over the ages. Crewdson recognises this timeless quality of the character and chooses to interpret it himself also but in the different, more contemporary, medium of film. Studying the picture closely reveals how the same motif of female suppression persists in history. Here, the scene is not a forest and a river, but a regular drawing room. The drawing room itself, although not overtly outrageous, is extremely surrealistic and eerie in some ways. The most visible evidence of its unnatural condition, of course, is the water that appears to flood the room. The still water with the woman’s hand partly submerged in it appears almost frozen and lends the entire scene a rigid, menacing quality. The drawing room is heavily furnished, almost stifling. ...
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