Transmutation: a tale in two parts

The word transmutation is readily found in the world of alchemy, but its contextual application can also be found in gnostic and other religious writings. Trans = thoroughly, mutare = to change. To transmutate is to undergo a complete changing from one state to another. If lead (or straw, àla Rumplestiltskin) were ever to turn into gold, it would have transmutated. When water was reportedly turned into wine it, too, transmutated. When someone becomes a religious convert from a state of non-belief, they are said to be "born again"—which sounds awfully like another form of transmutation. But what is it called when it happens in the reverse? When one has lost their faith, or never had it to begin with but later deliberately rejected it? What is it to suffer the loss of an ideal? Embedded within the word transmutate is also a reference to something else: the act of complete change requires a mutation; to mutate in this context would mean a purposeful disarrangement of a previously understood reality: to change the psyche, the mind and the heart as mindful act of self-realization. For those who have consciously rejected religious upbringing or instruction, they can be made to feel by others or themselves as mutant beings; all-too-human in one context, eternally condemned in another.

My project transmutation is a search for the immaterial and personal by means of the visual.

Part I: All of the Churches in Colorado Springs, is a collection and meditation of spaces; Part II: The Unbelievers, will be a combination of portraits and stories illustrating a wide range of individual experiences with evangelical and/or radically religious Christian culture.


* nota bena: if you had such an upbringing and are interested in participating in this project, you can contact me by email.