Ted Hiebert

What’s your spirit animal? Judging from his use of an old wolf pelt (PETA members stay away), you might think Canadian photographer Ted Hiebert has a thing for wolves. The name of this large-panel series, so carefully lit that the photos appear painterly, is Werewolf Stories. In these somber self-portraits, Hiebert crouches and contorts himself in various poses. He doesn’t so much wear the wolf skin as encounter it. The once living animal is suggested by the fur being draped over different coiled positions, like a series of static dances. (Or wolf-skin yoga, perhaps?) Using a blacklight gives these photographs an eerie, purplish glow; instead of being printed on paper, they almost seem to be painted on black velvet. Hiebert, a UW art instructor, speaks of the photos’ “channeling and a possession, where the disappearance of representation allows for a converse moment of uncanny apparition.” Put differently: Is he wearing the wolf, or is the wolf wearing him?!? There’s a shamanic interchange between species here, at the threshold between taxidermy (and its false preservation) and drama—a living work or live performance. BRIAN MILLER

Thu., March 3, 5-8 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 12-5 p.m. Starts: March 3. Continues through April 2, 2011

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