MacADAMS, Cynthia

Cynthia MacAdams – In her own words

“When I started photography, I was an angry Hollywood actress. I’d failed to make acting on film a source of enlightenment. There were no mindful roles for women to play. And when I realized that film was just a bunch of brainwashing equipment, I became very disillusioned. It took a lot of meditating for me to find myself. Eventually, I realized my freedom wasn’t going to come through acting because I was doing scripts conceived by men who were selling women short in the system. In order to survive, I had to find another technique. Aloma told me to pick up a camera and get in focus. I knew that I needed an expression. I’d done tai chi, zazen, macrobiotics, kundalini yoga, astrology, scientology and Reichian therapy. I’d studied with Tibetan lamas in the Himalayas. Still, I had no expression besides acting which gave me an objectivity toward the universe. I was extremely subjective. Everything had a gross importance to me and it was really crippling. Finally, I began to focus with my camera.

In the summer of 1974, I went to Boulder, Colorado where I did tai chi at Naropa Institute and lived in the mountains photographing streams, rocks and mountain folks. I felt comfortable there, I felt non-competitive. I shared what I had. I lived a simple life. I love the mountains. They gave me strength in my roots that go deep, deep down in the ground. I healed myself.

My goal is enlightenment. The camera is a tool, to express love. Each picture is a part of me and I live with it. In good acting, like good photography, when I find the moment it’s orgasmic. I experience total merging of consciousness with the part I play or with the person I photograph. It’s a sensual, sexual, spiritual experience. It’s the heart chakra. I embrace the subject with my camera and feel the essence of the soul allowing all her pain and joy to come through my eyes. I as the empty camera am filled with her being.”

Exhibitions: Cynthia MacAdams’ work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States since 1977.
‘Mayan Vision Quest’ is a collection of exquisite Mayan Temple sites published by Harper Collins, 1991. The acclaimed
‘Rising Goddess’ Morgan and Morgan, 1983, shows MacAdams mastery of nude subjects. ‘Emergence’, published by Chelsea House, 1979, MacAdams captures the spirit of emergent women, including Mary Ellen Mark, Gloria Steinem, Patti Smith, Kate Millett and others.

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