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 inclusion.

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