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2024 Annual Conference

St. Louis

March 21-23, 2024

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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Claire A. Warden

SPE Member since 2011
Member Chapter: Southwest


Mimesis is grounded in issues of identity, the other, and the psychology of knowledge and power. The creation of this series comes at a time when the struggle to accept the unfamiliar is pervasive in our culture. When looking at these images, the urge to ask "what is it?" echoes the question, "what are you?" – a question that has been directed towards me countless times as a person of mixed ethnic heritage in United States — is at the heart of my research.

In 2013, I discovered a unique cameraless photographic process on black and white negative film. This process acts as a sort of etching on the film emulsion using saliva and the result leaves behind only metallic silver from the emulsion and biologic matter – on top of which I use marking-making to paint, scratch, or cut away portions of the negative. I find this process to be uniquely qualified to address my questions, experiences, and research as a person of color. This process produces a series of images that simultaneously reveal certain truths in my experiences surrounding identity as well as the inadequacies of language to describe oneself. Resembling systems of the natural sciences—microscopic, topographic and celestial—the photographs allegorize the complexity of systems that make up an individual and the perception of self. Over time, I have come to view these pieces as a kind of self-portraiture – one that does not show you what I look like but one that is built from my DNA and shaped by my experiences.

No. 23 (Origin)

No. 25 (Agency and Influence)

No. 29 (Patterns in Performance)

No. 15 (Genetics)

No. 42 (Emphasis)

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