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Bathers.

Photographs by Ruth Kaplan. Text by Larry Fink and Marni Jackson.
Damiani, 2017. 112 pp., 70 illustrations, 6xx¾".



Publisher's Description

Bathers, by Toronto-based photographer Ruth Kaplan, explores the social theater of communal bathing.

Kaplan’s journey began in the nudist hot springs of California in 1991. By participating in the baths, Kaplan gradually became accepted and was able to make photographs of her fellow bathers, occupying the dual role of voyeur and participant. From California she then traveled to Eastern Europe, seeking a more traditional form of the practice in the spa towns of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Romania. The unique display of individual body types and ages became a component of the work, as did the decaying architecture of the interiors. She then traveled to higher-tech spas in Germany, France, Italy and Denmark, completing the series in 2002 in Moroccan hamams and Icelandic hot springs. Hedonism, sensuality, innocence and social bonding are some of the underlying themes that emerged.


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