Corinne May Botz
The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death
In The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, I explored a collection of eighteen crime scene models that were built in the 1940’s and 50’s by a progressive criminologist Frances Glessner Lee (1878 – 1962). The crime scene models, which were based on actual homicides, suicides and accidental deaths, were created to train detectives to assess visual evidence. Like a forensic detective, I meticulously re-traced Lee’s footsteps using my camera and lights. The large-scale color photographs shrewdly frame the idiosyncratic and haunting details from these captivating murder scene dollhouses. My work, steeped in noir fiction shuttles between the detective photography of Weegee and the dollhouse narrative photography of Laurie Simmons, as a way to explore the dark side of domestic life.
Corinne May Botz (New York, NY) received her BFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art, and her MFA from The Milton-Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. In her photographs she investigates socio-cultural attitudes toward domestic space, gender, and death. She is the author of The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death (Monacelli Press, 2004), which explores a collection of meticulously crafted crime scene models made by an unsung pioneer of forensic science, Frances Glessner Lee. Botz has had solo exhibitions at Bellwether in NYC, and Wolfson Gallery in Miami. Her group exhibitions include Epilogue at Jackson Fine Arts, Atlanta, GA; Blur of The Otherworldly: Contemporary Art, Technology, and the Paranormal at the Center for Art and Visual Culture, Baltimore, MD; Once More…With Feeling at the University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK. She is an adjunct professor of photography at Maryland Institute, College of Art and Johns Hopkins University.