In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Artist’s Statement
  • M. Michelle Illuminato (bio)

During a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, with the time to explore, I created a large series of images titled Slip, some of which are included in this issue of Frontiers. Finding myself with the freedom to be a flâneur in a city famous for flâneurism, I looked through windows and peered through glass domes and cabinets to study firsthand many of the objects on display, from the important to the trivial to the sacred or even the counterfeit.

Acknowledging that the objects have highly constructed contexts and are used to help produce an overarching dominant story, I took a closer look at objects that seemed to speak beyond those predetermined frames. Using my lens to capture a different perspective, I sought to ‘slip’ these objects from their contexts, allowing, I hoped, other stories that they may represent to emerge. I am interested in this backstory, the one unwritten and yet available with careful attention. Just as listening to people and communities reveal complex multiple perspectives even when the community is thought of as having “one-voice,” so may these objects provide new viewpoints that contrast, contradict, and inform each other when placed side by side.

In the next stage of the project, the objects themselves will be recreated and staged to further allow new and unexpected stories to emerge. [End Page 78]

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Figure 1.

“Pine Martin.” From “Slip” 2008. Musée National du Moyen Age-Thermes de Cluny, Paris France.

[End Page 79]

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Figure 2.

“Arena and David.” From “Slip” 2008. Musée Carnavalet and Musée des artes et métiers, Paris France.

[End Page 80]

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Figure 3.

“Skeleton and Pilgrim Badges.” “Slip” 2008. Musée National du Moyen Age-Thermes de Cluny.

[End Page 81]

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Figure 4.

“Ancient Bird and Feather of a Passenger Pigeon.” “Slip” 2008. Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Jardin des Plants, and the Musée Carnavalet, Paris France.

[End Page 82]

M. Michelle Illuminato

M. Michelle Illuminato creates projects that address social and political issues including memory, personal geography, tourism, urban landscape, and ruralness. Her research often begins through simple conversations with people and then grows into works that take the form of interactive installations, public works, listening stations, sculptures, photography, photo-stories and performances. Much of her work is created in collaboration, with the group Next Question or with individual actors, young photographers, local residents, scholars, and poets. Recipient of many awards and grants, among them the Key to the City of Aliquippa and Best Event in Pennsylvania, she has been featured on CBS Radio Network’s The Osgood Files. Illuminato has exhibited nationally and internationally and recently completed a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. Her current long-term project, Ruralscape, focuses on the culture and economics of rural landscape. She is an assistant professor at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, New York. For more information and images, visit .



Additional Information

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pp. 78-82
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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