19 May 2010, Katelan V Foisy; Dan Holloway
Lilith Burning was a one day pop-up comprising the installation Preserved Specimens, Presumed to be Food, and a series of readings at The Albion Beatnik Bookstore reflecting the Lilith Archetype.
Preserved Specimens, Presumed to be Food documents the juxtaposition of the people and places of Oxford with the archetype of Lilith. In many traditions Lilith is the first woman, Adam’s first wife, cast out and casting out, she stands outside of society and discourse. Representing simultaneously the feminine as nurturing and as angry and appetitive, she appears in many traditions as a succubus or a vampire, both marginal and ephemeral – and absolute and unrelenting.
Preserved Specimens, Presumed to be Food placed the visually unignorable image of Lilith in contemporary Oxford and documented the results, both in the pictures that were taken, and those that were not;
and in the unfolding of a day that ended with a series of readings on the subject of the transgressive feminine, which several of those pictured attended.
However striking and unmissable Lilith appears, in these photographs she is simply a catalyst, revealing through their contextualisation of her, truths about the places in which she appears, and about the people she encounters.