Woman with a Rolleiflex Camera

A review of Self-Portrait, by Marti Friedlander with Hugo Manson

Auckland University Press, 2013, 264 pp., $59.99


Reviewed by Sally Blundell for Landfall Review Online

1 March, 2014

‘I don’t mind explaining [my work],’ writes Marti Friedlander at the end of her autobiography Self-Portrait. ‘But I also don’t want people to know too much. Even now, writing this book, I wonder if I’m giving too much away. It’s a self-protection thing. You are vulnerable. It’s matter of where you place the barrier.’ Now entering her 86th year, Friedlander, the very private person behind many of New Zealand’s most well-known photographs, is clear about where that barrier should be.

She was born, we are told, Martha Gordon in Bethnal Green, London, on 19 February 1928, one of two daughters of Jewish refugee parents (‘as far as I know, from Kiev in Russia’). Any more about her parents: ‘I don’t want to talk about them further, because I value them too much. I want anything I say about them to be a validation rather than anything else.’

Read full review at Landfall Review Online

Purchase Self-Portrait at Baker Douglas