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2018 Annual Conference

Philadelphia

March 01-04, 2018

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2018 SPE Annual Conference: Uncertain Times: Borders, Refuge, Community, Nationhood / Hosted by The University of the Arts

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Jaime Aelavanthara

SPE Member since 2012
Member Chapter: Southeast

Untamed



Aligning with the tradition of Southern Gothic, Untamed articulates humankind's capacity to decay as a marker of our identity. Set in the swamps and woods of Mississippi, a natural place where one encounters life and death, growth and decay, the series chronicles the intimate relationship of a feral woman and her surrounding nonhuman environment. The La Loba is known as the wolf woman, the bone collector, the wild woman. She gathers fragments to preserve that which is in danger of being lost to the world, slinking through the land in search of bones. The woman collects the bones, branches, and flora and treads with the animals, both dead and living. Recognizing the deaths of other creatures, this woman observes in death, she, too, will be repurposed and consumed by the earth. Roger Thompson, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Stony Brook University, writes of Johnson’s photograph Bone Dress that “the stereotypical southern belle dress is transformed into a pile of bones, a startling (if also darkly humorous) reimagining of the Southern woman.”

The natural world becomes a metaphor of our own earthly experience as nature constantly undergoes change and transformation. Printing on vulnerable Japanese Kitakata paper which is prone to ripping, tearing, and wrinkling, essentially reflects the deterioration of nature and gives the prints a physical translucence. However, the material also reflects transcendent feelings, such as the way the rice paper transmits light. In addition, using the historic Cyanotype printing process creates a faded, dream-like quality.

Swarm

Mississippi Night

Water Snake

Animal Tracking

Danse Macabre, Dance of Death

She Rests in Flowers

Bone Dress

Catatonia

Boa

Release

Summoning Cicada

Spine

Wolf

Rest

Ribs

First Sigting of Wild Woman

Fallen

As I Lay Dying

Growth

Out of Afica

Veneration

Worm Nest

Rebirth

Danse Macabre, Dance of Death

DragonSnake

The Crowning

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