Kelly Ann Mitchell
Through my exploration art and photography,, I have grown to love the medium of photography, or more specifically, the scanner. For my work I have found an alternative way to capture images through the usage of flatbed scanners and a “magic wand” type scanner. Whether it is scans of myself, or scans of dead birds found on the side of the Nebraskan highway, to “gifts” that friends drop off on my doorstep, they all have an uncanny feel to them. Some of the subject matter is recognizable while others might require a closer look. I have used the theory of Freud’s “idea of the uncanny” and the idea of the abject to strengthen my concept of the beauty in the grotesque as well as the idea that there are consistent themes of life and death. The scanner process allows me to capture the essence of these items that once held life. As I press scan, I capture the images of these strange possessions that take up all of the room in my freezer and drawers. Inspired by the way taxidermy breathes life into these objects, I have started to resurrect these dead objects in a way that brings new light and soul to them. Whether it is a banana peel or a dead bird, I want to eternalize these deceased creatures or objects. Friends and family have started to give me objects in hopes that I can make them beautiful again. Objects like hair, dead plants and animals, and rotten fruit, have been given to me, and I treat all of them with a sense of respect. I lay them out in a ritual way to begin the process of scanning to resurrect them. They are not thrown away after I am done with the scanning. Instead, they are indexed and held on to for further investigation. This has become a greater process than just capturing an image, this has become a way of further understanding death and life in everything around us.