Exposure № 096: Rituals of the Lost Faith

Photographer Katerinna Ivanovic talks about her series of images:

“This series talks about the unavoidable act of taking our past with us in every move, every thought, and every step we do. We are our ancestors, we have the information of our past in our blood. We are them, we are still being  them, we are those rituals, those believers, even if we don’t want to be, or we are not conscious of it.”


“Antique rituals and habits like adoration, our sense of guilt, and the celebration of old saints and pre-Hispanic idols are part of many cultures, and a daughter of those culture is important for representing the damages that religion did to us, making us believe that we are lost, that we are ‘sinners’.”

“The woman is represented like a dark shadow who feels the big weight of a past that runs through her veins.”

* * * * *

Katerinna Ivanovic is a  Mexican visual artist based in Italy who expresses her personal universe with media like painting, photography, writing, soft sculpture and recently also video. She is inspired by themes that have influenced her since she was a child, being part of a strong culture filled with myths, legends and magic. As she grew up, she started to study art, but also her culture and her country, traveling, exploring and showing interest and love for Anthropology and folklore to enrich her art  and make a fusion of her feelings and her roots. Her art talks about spirituality, occult sciences, alchemy, darkness but is also rich of colors and and a particular view of life and death. Her eclectic style let her to express with freedom, and without any particular tendency, making her art as primitive as modern just listening herself and the things she has to talk about. She lives and works like and artist in the North of Italy raising her two children and occasionally exhibiting her work. Her submissions to Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure can be seen here.

Exposure № 083: Hide

Photographer Lindsey Kemp brings us two untitled photos from her series “Hide.” Both of these evocative images deal with what Kemp calls “one’s desire to find comfort beneath the veil of their own body and evading social connections by doing so.”

* * * * *

Lindsey Kemp is an emerging photographically-based artist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She obtained her BFA with a major in photography at OCAD University in 2012 in Toronto. Her work explores the magical, the ethereal, the scientific, and the spiritual within the mundane. Her current works in progress explore of sociological phenomenons, psychological disorders while satirically commenting and paying homage to old science fiction films. Lindsey is the editor of Eye Am Alive; a contemporary photography blog and soon-to-be quarterly publication.  She can be contacted at info@lindseykemp.com, and more of her work can be found at http://lindseykemp.com.

Her submissions to Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Exposure № 055: A Powder of Presences

Says Naama Sarid-Maleta’: “This photo is a part of a series that explores the body of a woman. Each photo shows a small detail of it. This one is my favorite because it shows my Hub- the place where everything starts, and it also showing me looking at myself- like the backstage of the scene.”

The Aeronaut

When Sophie Blanchard cleared Tivoli Gardens,
she did not think of cloaks, umbrellas,

ball gowns wrought from taffeta.  Instead,
she studied glow above wicker cradle.

She would not lull herself to sleep this evening,
but listened to the crowd’s reverberation.

Its call of flightless birds.   Its clap of thunder.
When Jean Pierre died, she’d not succumbed

to penury, nor thrown herself in water.   She’d
renounced ground.   At Turin:  awoke to nose-

bleed.   Above Vincennes:  outbucked hailstorm.
Beneath satin scrim, Sophie, lit by Bengal

fire, out-gleamed opera.  Until Tivoli, 1819,
Sophie flitted behind cloud cover.  A Blue Fairy

unmisted other side.  Then, taffeta leaked.
Starlight caught air inflammable, and balloon

turned chandelier.  Sophie, tangled in lines,
fell.  Vertebrae snapped.  Flung from night’s

ballroom, Sophie did not brood.  She could
not dance—and, yet, she flew.

* * * * *

This poem is one in a series of works inspired by the Smithsonian Institution’s photo archive, made publicly available on Flickr. If you would like to, choose an image from their collection and create something – be it prose, poetry, audio, or visual art – inspired by it, and send it to snakeoilcure [at] gmail [dot] com.

BLANCHARD, MARIE MADELEINE SOPHIE (ARMAND) SI Neg. 2002-20292. Date: na...Photo of unknown artist’s rendition on a poster of Marie Madeleine Sophie (Armand) Blanchard’s balloon ascension in Milan, Italy, Aug. 15, 1811. Blanchard became France’s 1st female professional balloonist in order to continue her husband’s ballooning legacy…Credit: unknown (Smithsonian Institution)


…hysteria is the nosological limbo of all unnamed female maladies. 

It were as well called mysteria for all its name teaches us of the host
of morbid states which are crowded within its hazy boundaries.

–S. Weir Mitchell, 1875

Theory is good; but it doesn’t prevent things from existing.

–Jean Martin Charcot, 1886

She does not have to go to Paris to see such women,
their wishbone spines, their joints like hinges;
she need not visit Salpêtrière, that mad museum,
to know such twinges are not meant for image.

Such grim pornography should not be caught by lens:
the stifled moan, the clenched appendages.
A photograph makes Now anachronism.
Even soul is sacrilegious.

Such monsters as Charcot imprisons
are but mere girls beset by midges,
those paramecia of spectral regions
that torment seers (Mr. Sludges,

 Katie Foxes, and other mediums,
who are receptive to the fringes
where diffraction gives dimension
to what isn’t yet).  Messages

 afflict the mind with movement;
bodies jerk with thought, phalanges
claw as if to elaborate.  Delirium
sanctifies, illumines.  Outrageous

as it seems, such attitudes passionn-
elles (mockery, threat, erotic rages)
are commonplace.  Such crucifixions
can be staged in sitting rooms.  Judges,

doctors, and other wise and condescending
men can gather there to gauge
epileptoid tendencies and other forms
of criminality.  Perhaps, these mages

with their forceful gazes can gain
some insight into transference, stages
of materialization in which emotions,
like lightning or swansdown, flung,

thrash or settle visibly around
medium and sitters as if to presage
apocalypse or rape.  Our Lady of Scorn
surveys these Ledas, these disarranged,

 but hopeful ingenues, who, half-feign,
half-suffer the pains that plague
them.  If Charcot could name
her monsters (her humors fledged),

would he dub them figments
of sexual frustration?  The hob as grudge
or bile personified? The scritch intent
as sinew, relieved of skin, viscera drug

into the open? The vesperbird, a wren
carnivorous, a viper vicarious?  If purges
cure hysterics, can trances, then,
still passion? She does not need a pilgrimage

to Paris to give her answers.  Perhaps, in-
voluntary demons, like other surges
of energy, can be harnessed, given
uses.  She imagines all the scourges

such indignities might wield upon
the genus skeptic, expert scrooges
who, invited to observe her séances,
might find themselves beset by urges

that could not be hypnotized, or crammed
in jacket, or yoke.  What violence might impinge
on arbiters of sanity and conscience
if gargoyle ghosts turned jurisprudent!

Womyn: Prologue

t wasn’t the sign that tipped her off, brazen though it was. “Danger: Unsecured Area. Clearance Required.” Didn’t leave much to the imagination. No, it wasn’t the sign, or the rough ending of the road, the pavement disintegrating and curling up under her toes with the crunch of rubber and stone. It wasn’t the rusted barb wire fence that dipped and dropped along the ruined concrete until it disappeared into the brush, its faulty gate hanging broken, a weak sentinel as the last line of defense.

It was the smell.

They smelled different, you see. Not the sweet, tangy salt with which Ava was familiar. No delicate, floral scents here, at the end of the burnt-out road and desolate wild. The pine from the trees was unfamiliar, but not unknown. But this smell; this was something else entirely.

This was the Ares.

It was… deeper, somehow. Muskier, Ava thought, without really knowing what that meant. It was a rich, earthy scent that coiled up her nose and set her at ease at a time she should have been wired. Part of their supposed charm, perhaps. Designed to entice what is forbidden to them.

She thought, inanely, and somewhat hysterically, of a book she had read as a child, something handed down to her from her mother’s mother’s mother. A book of loss and hope, in which strange otherworldly creatures lured their prey through beauty and scent and song. But the Ari were no supernatural wonders. They were flesh and bone, not so different from Ava herself, but a world apart from her nonetheless.

Shifting the rough cloth bag over her shoulders, she contemplated her choices. She could continue on her current path into the Outlands and track down the Ares. They might kill her on sight, but it was a risk worth taking at this point. She was already a wanted woman back home, and she didn’t have anything to lose. Magda was gone, and with her, her only friend and ally.

If she didn’t go forwards, then she would have to go back, to Boston, to the Center. And tell them what? Sorry guys, I was kidding with all that conspiracy theory stuff. I’m totally back on board now, no questions asked. If only she hadn’t proudly, and publicly, told the Director to go to hell. When the older woman had advised Ava that pigs would fly before she let her walk free out the door with the Center’s secrets, Ava looked out the window. Any minute now…

Going back would be the sane option, Ava knew, but it was inconceivable. She couldn’t ignore the truth. She couldn’t ignore the centuries-buried secret that would topple the balance of her government, her country, her world. She couldn’t ignore what was right in front of her.

As the Ares stepped from the tree line and aimed its gun at her head, she wondered, How did I get here?

Stay tuned for further installments of “Womyn” by guest contributor Fayth Trunweigh