Alumni Portrait Karin Bolender


Interview with interdisciplinary rural artist Karin Bolender, 2007 graduate of the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts Washington program at Goddard College.

Bio note

Karin Bolender's interdisciplinary life/art practice roots in rural landscapes (all the faunal, floral, and mineral forms that inhabit them) and human acts of metaphor, memory, and imagination. Grounded in both poetics and performance-art traditions, Bolender's work explores the seams between our human selves and other beings, especially other domestic species, and seeks the deepest roots of our common histories, passions, and needs. Many of her collaborative projects involve journeys through the rural American South with two American Spotted she-Asses, Aliass and Passenger, and often in the company of other artists, animals, musicians, and passers-by; these journeys include Little Pilgrim of Carcassonne (2002), The Dead-Car Crossing (2004), the "Can We Sleep in your Barn Tonight?" MYSTERY TOUR (2006), and the ongoing She-Haw Transhumance series. Her site-specific series known as The Dive Rodeo playfully subverts the dominance paradigms and breakneck speeds of traditional rodeo events like Steer-Wrestling and Team-Roping, in search of slower and more contemplative ways of knowing other beings. Bolender runs the Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.), founded in the pine and poplar woods of Carnesville, Georgia in 2008, relocated to the golden light and shadows of the Northern Sacramento Valley in 2011, and now is based in Oregon. 

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