colleen keough
Snake Medicine series
2016
Ode to a Forked Tongue

"I’ll tell you what I know of loss

It’s a condition of inward motion

A spell, binding links of time

A sinkhole spun between memories

Snake eyes, perched and ready to strike

Do you remember when we danced the awkward dance?

Your tongue split in mid sentence

Boils appeared at the base of your throat

You huff and puff attempting to blow the house down"

Excerpt From: “Snake Medicine.”

Snake Medicine is a book, photographic series and performance work which explores themes of loss, death, and rebirth. Using snake and the shed of its skin as a metaphor for death and renewal, I examine cycles of loss and regeneration on a personal, biological, and cultural level. In this series I give sets of instructions for actions and rituals for the viewer to perform to shed skins and honor loss. Symbolically marking space and time through performance initiates the process of transmutation, and gives presence to painful experiences that otherwise remain hidden. In the same way, the photographs and photograms provide a visual interpretation of the death, healing, and rebirth narrative.
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