Winter’s Darker Iconographies

School for the Art Institute of Chicago/ Ox-Bow Residency
Studio. Winter 2008
Instructor: Mary Walling Blackburn

Course Description:
Winter’s Darker Iconography: It’s Horror, Its Humor

This interdisciplinary studio course will explore winter’s darker iconography: the mechanized, the frost-bitten, the storm bound, the avalanche, the denuded ski slope, the snow-bound cannibal, the snowmobile drag race accident, the ice-bound ship, the popular demand for the frozen sperm of a newly discovered Ice Man. Students will build objects, write texts, and perform works, as well as design and build snow caves, and rethink the aesthetics and ornamentation surrounding such winter kitsch as the seasonal ornaments, the gingerbread house, the Mexican Santa Claus horror genre of cinema. Readings, writings, and films will explore winter as building material, site-specific space, and will conceptualize themes that have culturally accumulated around winter.

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