DEVIL’S PROMENADE

The Ozark backwoods are a place you feel. The dark nooks to hide, made in encroaching woods and the banks of rivers, the smell of wet life and decay, a steady insect hum, all create a backdrop for a people with a particular fascination for the mysteries of darkness and light. Here some of the oldest stories of humanity are told—wanderers’ lost souls and paths taken towards good or evil—but with a local twist in the tale of a strange orb of light.

 

Folkloric stories can provide insight into very real issues in a community. This region is marked by isolated poverty, wariness of outsiders, and a struggle between heaven and hell that factors into everyday conversation. Spook Light is known as a floating orb found on a wooded road in a region where the Devil is said to reside. In lieu of a scientific explanation the appearance of the Spook Light has come to represent for the community a desire for redemption and the fear of slipping into darkness. It is the sublime experience whose defiance of explanation provides a reprieve from ordinary life while the stories told to explain its origin are firmly rooted in the foundation of human existence.

 

Devil’s Promenade is a project about our home region that blends folklore and local history with present day photographs of Ozark people, the land, and interpretive images based on the living mythology of the Light. These photographs are combined with oral accounts, short fiction, and found photographs from the region’s past in the three-part book series Spook Light Chronicles. Our aim is not to provide documentation or an explanation of the phenomenon, but to suggest a narrative that, in the spirit of the light, is part fixed in this unique region and part afloat in a mysterious, otherworldly realm.

 

Image Credit: Antone Dolezal and Lara Shipley, Waiting for the Light

 

Exhibition Dates: July 11 – August 22, 2015
Opening Reception: July 11 | 6pm – 9pm
Location: Filter Space 1821 W. Hubbard St., Ste. 207

Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday 11am – 5pm

LOCATION

Filter Space

1821 W Hubbard St | Suite 207

Chicago | Illinois | 60622

312.248.1961

HOURS

Monday - Friday | 11am - 5pm 

Saturday | 12 pm - 4 pm

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Filter Photo is partly supported by grants from The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council Agency, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, The Fogelson Family Foundation, and The Hegner Family Foundation.