Ashes in the Fall

katharine mullen xoco chicago rooftop garden stronghold climbing gym 3rdarm arthur mullen xoco manager chicago los angeles 2015

I have the best sister in the universe. Kate flew from LA to take care of me during the brutal extraction of my wisdom teeth. Thank you universe for the most amazing cat squeezing sister who I love so much. In this time of change I am focused on my teeth. The apprehension and pain of fixing them are like heat and smoke from a controlled burn across the landscape of my body.

katharine mullen xoco chicago rooftop garden stronghold climbing gym 3rdarm arthur mullen xoco manager chicago los angeles 2015

“To witness a controlled burn is to place oneself in the presence of a certain ‘terrible beauty’…the ephemeral moment when life and death are not opposed, but are harmonized as a single process — to be embraced as one. Controlling burns is arduous and potentially dangerous…I try to stay ahead of the smoke, but often, because of the angle of the sun, or the way the wind is blowing, I need to push myself into it.”

katharine mullen xoco chicago rooftop garden stronghold climbing gym 3rdarm arthur mullen xoco manager chicago los angeles 2015

“Fire and smoke are my equivalents; abstract manifestations of an inner state where the unknowable resides. Reference points and orientation are intentionally obscured. I have no interest in realistically rendering the landscape. Rather, I look for visual references of a place that my mind cannot grasp, a place in which the sublime resides.”

-Chicago photographer Jane Fulton Alt, on her recent book of photos titled “The Burn,” interviewed by The Week

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