The Return of the Hunted
University of Southern Maine
USM Art Gallery, Gorham Campus
Allan deSouza (2005)
Looking out of my campus studio to a landscape blanketed in snow, I was reminded of once reading that Maine is demographically the whitest state. I began work based on the ideology of whiteness as pure and righteous, and with the brown body as a stain or a site of pollution or contagion within this whitescape.
The view out of my studio also felt strangely familiar. I eventually tracked this déja vu to a 1565 painting by Pieter Bruegel, the Elder, entitled The Hunters in the Snow.
I photographed the scene outside my studio as a one hundred and eighty degree panorama. Instead of Bruegel's hunter, I digitally inserted my own image, photographed in different positions and carrying brooms rather than spears. A return from cleaning up, rather than from a kill? Or arriving to clean up? I am accompanied by two different dogs belonging to friends and neighbors, with the dogs photographed multiple times. Other objects were also digitally inserted into the background image, creating a completed composite of approximately sixty individually photographed images.