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The Handmaiden

Heresy, heatstroke, and the insurgent feminism of Celia Rowlson Hall’s MA

The Handmaiden of the Lord

Photography, Editorial direction

 

 

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HERESY,

HEATSTROKE,

AND THE INSURGENT FEMINISM OF

CELIA ROWLSON HALL’S 

MA

 

Celia Rowlson-Hall, the New York-based experimental filmmaker and choreographer, decided to make a feature film in which no words were spoken. Instead, the characters would convey the story through gesture and dance. During the shoot, on location in the harsh Mojave desert, Rowlson-Hall got heat exhaustion and nearly died. But the film came out dope.

 
 
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When I set out to photograph Celia for the cover story of BRIGHT IDEAS no. 5, I wanted to capture both the complexity of her movements, and the harshness of the landscapes in MA. With that in mind, we caravanned to the arid mountains east of Los Angeles, and on a lunar plateau perched above a dry river gorge, I shot Celia wrapped in pink and blue and white fabric. We shot in the final hours of the day, and the haunting photos are full of the gorgeous, dying light.

 
 
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