Read More Here
Read More Here
My first encounter with the figure of a witch in popular culture—apart from those in kids’ movies like Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” and M-G-M’s “The Wizard of Oz,” or in books like Tomie dePaola’s “Strega Nona” and Roald Dahl’s “The Witches”—was in a campy scene from Oliver Stone’s 1991 bio-pic, “The Doors,” depicting Jim Morrison (played by Val Kilmer) and one of his lovers, a Wiccan witch (a character played by Kathleen Quinlan, and based on the rock journalist Patricia Kennealy, who reportedly married the singer in a Celtic handfasting ceremony, in 1970). In the flickering light of dozens of candles barely illuminating a high-ceilinged chamber, the two peruse an esoteric sorcery tract in the nude, snort cocaine, slit their wrists with a dagger, drink each other’s blood, and have wild sex to the shrieking strains of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”
More than a quarter century later, the often paradoxical grab bag of clichés tied to the contemporary figure of the witch is not that far off, I think, from those shown in Stone’s movie. The witch is often understood as a mishmash of sometimes contradictory clichés: sexually forthright but psychologically mysterious; threatening and haggish but irresistibly seductive; a kooky believer in cultish mumbo-jumbo and a canny she-devil; a sophisticated holder of arcane spiritual knowledge and a corporeal being who is no thought and all instinct. Even more recently, the witch has entered the Zeitgeist as a figure akin to the so-called nasty woman, who—in the face of a Presidential Administration that is quick to cast any criticism as a “witch hunt”—has reclaimed the term for the feminist resistance. (This latter-day witchiness has often been corralled to commercial ends: an Urban Outfitters shirt bearing the words “Boss Ass Witch,” say, or the women-only co-working space the Wing referring to itself as a “coven.”) The muddled stereotypes that surround witches nowadays are, in the end, not so very different from those used to define that perennial problem: woman.
Read more via – The Many Faces of Women Who Identify as Witches – The New Yorker
Originally from ShenZeng, China Mang was a theatrical performer until a recent turn towards photography. Her photographs invoke this objectified beauty, she knows you’re looking at her but she is also looking at herself, both with edited tricks and also through the use of self portraits.