Swine Time Festival,
Climax, Georgia, 1998
These pictures were taken at the 1998 "Swine
Time," an annual festival held in Climax, Georgia on the
Saturday after Thanksgiving. The items were offered for sale in
booths on the fairgrounds, usually run by one or two people from
the area. It is hard to say how these objects stand in relation
to the consciousness of the festival-goers. They don't represent
"authentic" local art. None of them, except for the
dolls below, are made in the area; even the dolls were thought
up by "somebody else," to quote a vendor. Instead, they
are purchased from suppliers who peddle them to the vendors with
the assurance that they are commercially viable. Commerce, that
reliable engine of cultural innovation. On the fairground, some
vendors were more active than others, working to spark desire
and self-misrecognition in the festival-goers...
A vendor told us these stuffed dolls
have been around for a couple of years. They're very realistic,
eerie, and dressed better than some of the children in nearby
homes. The vendor said they could be thought of as crying, or
playing hide and seek. That would depend on your mood; prop them
next to the rear fender of your car, and they are huffing gas
fumes, the little scamps! Interesting contrast to the huge-eyed
creatures Kmart sells. Several years ago they would have stuck
a Cabbage Patch doll face on them and that would have been adorable.
Now the children are faceless...eyeless...
This booth had rows and rows of the
blind darlings. There may be some link to primal scene concerns.
Hard to say.
There were several booths chock full
of these bilge buckets of occupational identity and ethos.
Wow-amazing, yet too modest. What if
no one bothers to look through your magnifying glass? Great material
for a Simpsons episode.
Grounding the ideology of the day -
maybe the entire developmental phase - of this poor kid: "Stevie
Jr. had a wonderful time that year. Look at his picture."
This wasn't in Climax, but deserves