Shivering in the Garden
On View in the 538 Window Gallery
I was recently visiting my hometown and stopped to fill up my car with gas. I noticed a woman sitting outside the gas station drinking coffee and recognized her as my old ballet teacher. I sat down next to her and we caught up. She had been going blind during the decade since I last saw her. She had fallen out of love, started growing a garden, and found god. She had a small collection of freshly picked mushrooms next to her and handed me one, saying “mushrooms have no gender, did you know that?”
The title of this show is inspired by David Arora’s mushroom identification guide, Shivering in the Garden is an excerpt from a cross-disciplinary project that explores the complexities of storytelling, faith, folklore, and the inherent queerness of the natural world.
Small-town gossip, relationships to the land, the mysteries of wildlife, the drama of humanity, and the unpredictability of human spectacle inspire the stories in these images. I’m fascinated by the instability of storytelling and hope to enable character and landscape to act as gossip in their own right: cross-pollinating and synthesizing. Class structure, ruralism, the ghosts that haunt landscapes, and disentangling colonial narratives are what drive these images and videos.
The often disregarded underbelly of a post-fact world seems to be the simultaneous beauty and danger of fiction. I’m interested in photography as a medium of hybridity and nuance—weavings of myth filled with tangents and nuances, treading the lines between investigative journalism, performance, acts of obsession, and self-conscious manipulation. Photography’s ability to promote belief is a power not dissimilar to that of faith. I hope for these images to act as tarot cards, and the viewers exist as the medium between fiction and reality—to push past questions of validity that form the base tradition of colonialism in storytelling and folklore and into a much more human sense of reality: faulted, broken, and real.
Dylan Hausthor is an artist based on a small island off the coast of Maine. Their work is an act of hybridity–an effort to render field recordings into myth. Interested in small-town gossip and the fragility of journalistic truth, they look for stories that are found at the end of dirt roads and in the tops of fir trees. They subscribe to emotional cohesiveness in their work and rely on vignettes, tangents, and tropes of conceptual art in their storytelling.
Hausthor received their BFA from Maine College of Art and MFA from Yale University where they were awarded the John Ferguson Weir Award. Their work has been showcased nationally and internationally by the Aperture Foundation, British Journal of Photography, Photo District News, PHMuseum, Vice, Gomma, World Press Photo, LensCulture, Vogue, and the permanent collection at MoMA’s library. They are a 2019 recipient of a Nancy Graves fellowship for visual artists, runner-up for the Aperture Portfolio Prize, nominated for Prix Pictet 2021, a recipient of the Ellis-Beauregard grant and residency, and the winner of Burn Magazine’s Emerging Photographer’s Fund. They founded the art publication imprint Wilt Press in the spring of 2015, released their first trade edition monograph with Void Photo in 2019 with their frequent collaborator Paul Guilmoth and currently works as a farmer and teacher.