Madonna Comix, 2012
Celia Bland, Poet
MADONNA COMIX is a series of 26 prints based on 11 poems by Celia Bland. The figurative imagery is based primarily on my negative archive and additional photographs that I made as needed. I retained and used many of the residual artifacts that result from working with software. Although the work is no longer recognizable as photography and my working process is much like painting, photographically derived imagery is central.
Celia's poems speak to our fears, the choices we make, the things we take on faith--to multiple experiences of being a woman. Some comment on the profound physical and emotional experiences of childbearing; others on the mystery of the Virgin birth and the Madonna as emblematic of innocence and faith. They are both reverent and secular. I bring these dialogues into the images by usurping phrases and words from the poems which I juxtapose with underlying, proto-feminist text taken from photographed "Little Lulu" comic book pages. This allows a down-to-earth, irreverent and abbreviated commentary to break through.
The Madonna is the source of a rich iconography that I reference in the images. The emergence of the contemporary female jihadist as a suicide bomber in "Madonna Bomb" takes the idea of faith to an extreme, puzzling and troubling place--killing oneself for a belief. Who is this woman combatant? How does a belief, a yielding to faith, compel self-annihilation?
Riding the Crescent, 2010
Blood is Time
Celia Bland, Poet
This project began with photographs i made of the blood from a slaughtered sheep collecting and coagulating in a tub, which I e-mailed to Celia. Celia responded with a story in which race, class and familial relations ride the "Carolina Crescent" and contours of blood.
“Blood is Time” bears the distressed text of a young woman’s misadventures as she misses a train; “Blood Kin,” a climactic moment in a Day’s Inn; and “Passing Strange”: riding the rails as she attempts to escape a past, pulsing like blood. The scrawled lines of text mimic the vehicles of the girl’s travels -- corvette, taxi and train – veering along the byways of blood and race and sex. As one reads the fragmented phrases overlaying the bloodscape, one might imagine much-read maps of intersecting routes. Blood remembrance underlies this collaboration of text and image. Blood, as the saying goes, always tells.
The Lore Which Nature Brings, 2009
Elisabeth Frost, Poet
In 'The Lore Which Nature Brings,' we contrast scientific and poetic ways of engaging birds' nests. We ask how do science and poetry represent oppositional ways of interpreting nests, and how might we bridge (or at least comment on) these representational modes? We contrast two tropes: specimen collection (engaging the nests as objects), and the highly subjective, sometimes sentimental, meditations and emotional projections that characterize much poetry about birds and their nests. On these fictional specimen pages the collected nests interact with an over-determined poetic subject.
Poetic Dialogue Project: Arachne, 2008
Elisabeth Frost, Poet
Arachne, a series of five diptychs, is my first collaborative project with a poet. Elisabeth Frost and I decided to allude to the style and conventions of collection and preservation, which have occupied me for many years in my work, and which dovetailed with Elisabeth’s interests in specialized language in poetry. We chose to work with spider webs as specimens. I used photographed webs, hand-inked text, penciled notations, red-bordered labels, and a surface that ‘impersonates’ specimen paper with stains and imperfections. Elisabeth's text reflects descriptive taxonomy that is part of a preserved specimen, including genus, species, measurements, and Latin terminology.
We explore text and image as integral to one another, creating multiple dialogues: between hand-writing as scientific notation and as poetic/lyric phrase; between hand-writing as trace (partially erased) and the web as visual/glyphic trace; and between scientific and lyric ways of understanding the phenomenon before us – including [in 0005], the myth of Arachne, whose acts of creation our work also honors.
Montreal Danse: Furies, 2008
Kathy Casey, Artistic Director
In conjunction with my retrospective exhibition, Field Notes, at Western Gallery in Bellingham, Washington, I was asked to work with Kathy Casey, Artistic Director of Montreal Danse, whose company was performingFuries Alpha 1/24 (The Monsters Within) in the gallery just prior to the opening of the show. We wanted to find a way of visually and conceptually integrating the performance with the works on exhibit. To this end, I altered existing photographic images in Photoshop to make large digital prints on tissue and kraft papers--"trash" that was installed in the entrance to the performance area and in the set, along with bones that I had collected over the years. Sarah Clark-Langager, Director of Western Gallery, states, ". . .Kornberg's photographs and Montreal Danses' performance resonate with order and chaos, move back and forth along the lines of control and lack of control, and flutter between despair and hope."