on reverse: extracts of a poem by Mo Costello
Mo Costello (Seattle, 1989) is an artist currently living in Athens, Georgia where she is the Photography Fellow at the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art. While in residency, she has pursued participatory forms of fable and myth-making in an effort to conceive of alternative and potentially unforeseen qualities of being and existing alongside one another.
The following are fragments, brief passages, from a much longer prose poem entitled Max. The text was prepared for an exhibition by the same name and involved a collaboration with local gospel choir The Inspirational Heavenly Aires of Macon, Georgia. The exhibition was intended to function less as an installation of individual images than a creation of another world, an alternate world, a staged encounter with the unexpected and between the otherwise isolated. Similar to theater, though in the absence of a beginning or end. The work in its entirety was conceived as an origin story. A re-writing of what once was and what could be. Addiction and deprivation, the primary narrative, consider alternate beginnings. Collectively, we animate the otherwise silent. We sing Max into being;
. . . Sometime before there were rabbits, and they increased in number. There were rabbits and there were apples. There were rabbits and there were apples and the daughters they were wed, for the men they were hungry. There were rabbits and there was a garden and now there is nothing.
Tweed to silk
cock to hole
needle to vein
Needle to vein
Tweed to hole to silk to cock
needle to cock
In the bedroom, above the cellar, where it is dry. And it is hot. Max succumbs to rest in the dull daylight of a small, grey, television set. Unconscious, he shudders, as if in a dream. A slow unfurling, a quiet tremor that begins in the hollow of his bowels that bathes his thighs in a filmy coat of cream colored excrement that stains the bed on which he sleeps. His skin. His skin it is white.
A slight tremble before,