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ALISON ERAZMUS - 2nd residency [info]


February 2022

Alison Erazmus, a St. Louis based fine art and commercial photographer, returned for a second residency about 3.5 months after her first to dive into a very large project that has been in the works for several years. For these two weeks in February 2022, she had knowledge of the land and the various animals to be able to make a very productive schedule of photoshoots at all times of the day and night. Utilizing the Magnajector device that she brought with her, she was able to project her own imagery onto fabric to develop images for this narrative visual story. She describes herself as a "narrative photographer" in her website bio which is truly accurate as evident in all of the pieces of this work.

When your creative work and vision is about dreams and illumination, it almost makes sense to set up a thinking space in the same room that you'll sleep and have dreams. In this second residency term, Alison was in the private ensuite in the Camphaus which gave her a lot of workspace and closer interaction with her favorite animal - cat. She even brought a large painted cat mask to incorporate into her photographs.

Her artistic goals resonate in this project:

Much of my work embodies the tenets of staged photography, where objects and figures are arranged to create a fictionalized tableau. Through these staged compositions, I aim to tell a story with each photograph. Psychoanalytic theory grounds my work across several projects. In my practice, I excavate and illuminate the narratives of dreams, memories, forgotten family history, colonialism, and violence through feminist and Freudian lenses. Fittingly, the photographic process echoes psychoanalysis, a practice that reveals suppressed thoughts and neurosis.

The work in progress - the thinking, planning, and strategic organization - of a body of work to be displayed in a visual setting is what the audience does not see. They see the final results of the work on the wall, displayed or arranged in a particular way to set a mood, and to tell a story. This type of planning deserves the time a residency can provide away from the routine of life and a different type of space to spread out and figuratively zoom out to see the collective work.

At various times, when running into Alison during this organization process, Val, was curious about some of the visual juxtapositions from her graphic design perspective. These are the types of conversations one cannot predict, but in an artist-run residency they can most definitely be an attribute.

Alison also got physical with the farm stay scholarship and fell into a zen-like activity of cutting branches for kindling. In addition, her time on site yet again overlapped with others so that we could all enjoy a bit of socializing even in the cold temps of February.

Do you have a professional and fine art practice that you are balancing? Could you use some focus time to put the fine art work first with complete attention?

If so, what would you create? Often times what you think is going to take a month can be accomplished with 1 or 2 weeks. Apply today.

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