Burning Time is a graphic book collaboration between Professors Jonathan Alexander (English Department)) and Antoinette LaFarge (Art Department) that explores the intimacies of imagined memory and sexuality. The book consists of a cycle of 8 poems and associated panoramic paintings to tell the story of a young gay man arriving in New Orleans in the late 1950s to start a new life. The project began with a trove of photographs that Jonathan Alexander was unexpectedly given at a family retreat, forgotten images that gave him a poignant glimpse into the life of a long-dead gay uncle. He began to imagine what his uncle's life must have been like, arriving in New Orleans from rural Louisiana as a very young man in the middle of the 20th century. In conjuring his imagined version of this man's life, Jonathan soon realized that his words needed equally evocative images to create an emotional correlative of the uncle's experiences, and he invited Antoinette LaFarge into the project. Text and image interweave to evoke a particular time and place while also summoning the timelessness of self-exploration and desire— experience reimagined as mythic adventure.
Image: Burning Time: Letters (detail), 2018
Friday, May 10, 4 p.m. - Opening Reception
Viewpoint Gallery, UCI Student Center
Featuring remarks by Alexander and LaFarge and light appetizers