Tonight on Balloon-Juice After Dark: Strong women!
The witch is often understood as a mishmash of sometimes contradictory clichés: sexually forthright but psychologically mysterious; threatening and haggish but irresistibly seductive; a kooky believer in cultish mumbo-jumbo and a canny she-devil; a sophisticated holder of arcane spiritual knowledge and a corporeal being who is no thought and all instinct. Even more recently, the witch has entered the Zeitgeist as a figure akin to the so-called nasty woman, who—in the face of a Presidential Administration that is quick to cast any criticism as a “witch hunt”—has reclaimed the term for the feminist resistance[…] The muddled stereotypes that surround witches nowadays are, in the end, not so very different from those used to define that perennial problem: woman.
In her portrait series “Major Arcana: Witches in America,” which will be shown at the ClampArt gallery, in Chelsea, beginning October 4th, the photographer Frances F. Denny seeks to explore the figure of the contemporary witch beyond the cultural chestnuts that have shrouded and obscured it. In the course of the past two years, Denny, who holds an M.F.A. in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design (where I taught her for a semester a number of years ago), has travelled in California, Louisiana, and along the East Coast, taking the portraits of dozens of women who identify as witches.
It’s a photo feature, so click through and take a look. I’d include a sample here but I’m too tired to remember how copyright works.
Updated because I remembered this:
I've never wished so hard that Alyssa Milano was a real witch. pic.twitter.com/Oqaw7210eq
— Meredith B. Kile (@em_bee_kay) September 27, 2018