Jennifer Montgomery & Barbara SukowaWednesday, March 29, 2006
These two women, one an American film director, the other a German actress are linked in my photo files by the positive and the negative. I photographed them both in the 90s in the Sun Room of the Hotel Vancouver. Both came for the Vancouver Film Festival. There the similarities end. I was struck by the intensity of Barbara Sukowa (right) who was in town to promote Lars Van Trier's Europa. It was difficult to hold her gaze. Behind the protection of my camera I asked her to look into it and, "seduce me." This she did.
Jennifer Montgomery had been seduced, when she was 14, by Jock Sturges, photography/art teacher, at a private boarding school. Years later the FBI wanted to nail Sturges for child pornography and attempted to coerce and intimidate Montgomery to testify. Montgomery refused even though the FBI went to terrible lengths, even as far as blackmailing her with the threat of publishing the nude photos that Sturges had taken of her. Montgomery prevailed and Sturges was off the hook. But years later, in 1995, Montgomery with her avant-garde film Art for Teachers of Children got even. In the film, the actor who plays Sturges, tells his young model to show more energy (plus more of those banalities that we photographers shower our subjects with). This results in the actress playing Montgomery to take off her shirt. With Montgomery facing my camera I was speechless.
Art for Teachers of Children