Sarah Wentworth

Smoke and Fog
archival digital print
Performed Photos

Media: Photography

Vernon Street Studios
20 Vernon Street 58

MAP # 59

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Sarah Wentworth (MFA Tufts/Museum School, BFA MassArt) is best known for her "Postcard Project: Surreptitious Installations" in which she appropriated the use of museum shops as exhibition space to humorously subvert the sequence of art marketing in the creation of artists' reputations. Recent projects of performed photos include "Passport Pictures" and "Tourist Pictures" of the artist as various personae.

This year, Open Studios visitors are invited to see "Untitled (fishline)" a series of performed photos centered on a costume made of knit fishing line. The fishline creature is an 'unknown being' reminiscent of the mythological Selkie, a creature living along the water’s edge, having emerged from the ocean. The fishline creature may also have come from the sea, spawned from trashed plastics swirling in the ocean - as if abandoned fishing nets came to life as they washed up on the shore. Like other wild creatures, the fishline creature appears fleetingly at the periphery of human locations, often at dawn or dusk.

Costume (as disguise) may seem at odds with the revelatory tradition of self-portraiture, but in this body of work it serves as a neutralizer by presenting the artist as a naif in the natural landscape. The photos (taken on Deer Isle, Maine) also celebrate the exquisite light and changing weather that formed the artist's childhood visual memories while growing up along Penobscot Bay.