Illinois native Jill Petracek has dark brown eyes, brown hair and strange feet. She graduated from UMD last week.
I recently saw the the work of Duluthian Shannon Hickok Cousino, including this piece.
My first thought is that I am drawn to it because it reminds me of other, iconic imagery — like the paintings of Ophelia (paintings by Millais and Waterhouse, below). These are the “tragic woman” of literature rendered as a beautiful tragedy. Almost so beautiful they are hard to imagine as tragic. Without a doubt, we have aestheticized the suffering of Ophelia, of women, repeatedly.
“Now we Float” makes no attempt to aestheticize the tragedy (at least, if by that, we mean erase suffering and replace it with flowers and outstretched hands).
Even as she floats, the figure in “Now we Float” does not break the surface. The surface weighs upon her. A friend of mine called it “weight of insurmountable pressure” — the kinds of pressures that crush someone, inside or out. I am remembering here the Pipher books about Ophelia that were so powerful in the 1990s.
But is the woman in Cousino’s work tragic? “Now we Float,” as a title, speaks to a kind of agency, even in death. As opposed to the scene captured on film (perhaps a scene of floundering, struggling, drowning, beneath those pressures), now, we float. Now, we simply rise to the surface. There is a simple clarity in that title, one that both underscores and undermines the tragedy, I think. No longer struggling, she floats. No longer struggling, though, she fails, still, to break the surface.
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Manhattan-based photographer Charles Eshelman takes his bathtub to Duluth to capture video confessions. Guests in the tub are Vicki Fingalson & Jeff Madison, Linda Wick, Badger Colish, Mark Swenson, Zach Chase and Calland Metts & Sarah Lawrence.
Ah, the stereograph — a nineteenth-century wonder in which almost identical photographs, side by side, can viewed with a stereoscope and appear three-dimensional. On a website they just appear silly and pointless, but in this case there’s some fairly fancy historical scenes to browse.
By far the number one thing people contact the PDD Help Dept. about is uploading an image to a post. It’s actually a pretty simple thing, but there are just enough tricks to screw up a newbie. Since it’s much easier to learn with a visual aid, PDD Intern Kelsey Marier put together this video.
Charlie Parr is one of the most unusual and fascinating individuals I’ve ever met. He has lived in my neighborhood for years, but for some reason I hadn’t summoned the courage required to knock on his door until only recently. Finding him to be as accessible as an open book, I unexpectedly encountered a kindred spirit while making a friend. I don’t come across many kindred spirits, so this is worth writing home about.
Read more about this fascinating, one-of-a-kind soul here.
Here’s a bit of what you’ll find on this week’s PDD Calendar:
The Nerds are having another Nite, there’s a TED Talk at the Teatro, people can get their antiques appraised at the Depot, a Nepal relief benefit is happening and bands and fans jam themselves onto a train.
The 2015 Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards take place, it’s Community Day at Glensheen Mansion, rock bands play an Italian restaurant, Blake Thomas continues his residency at the Zeitgeist Arts building and Bob Dylan gets even more adoration at Sacred Heart.
I’m looking for some places in Duluth where I can post some Community Action Duluth posters promoting our free MNsure and SNAP assistance program where they can be seen by wide audiences. If you know of a good place where our poster won’t be immediately ripped down or apart, I’d love to hear of it. Thank you!
Oft sought, seldom found, more often induced. Still, when genuine… It might not be apparent, but our lead image this week by Aaron Reichow was shot at the circus. Amazing that amidst all of the tumult that this child managed to tune all else out. There’s something axiomatically spiritual in that, I think.
I’m working on an art and history project that tells the story of women milliners from our state’s past. Millinery was one of the only professions open to middle-class women for a very long time. I’m looking for your relative who made hats. Or rather, I’m looking for stories about your relative who made hats. Anytime from the 1890s until the 1950s. Please contact me if you’ve got a relative who was a milliner!