Exit Wounds

by Constance Thalken

Exit Wounds explores the destruction of five acres of land adjacent to Thalken’s home for urban development. Graced by a dense forest of long-standing trees, the property served as a wildlife habitat and was deeply treasured in the neighborhood as greenspace. After clear-cutting the forest of trees, massive earth-moving machines ravaged the site for an entire summer, churning away at the earth to sculpt the denuded hillside into broad terraces for residential development. 

Elegiac in tone, Exit Wounds addresses the voracious human appetite for development and laments the consequential wounds to the natural world. At the same time, it suggests the resilience of the natural world and the persistence of non-human life to endure in the midst of human intervention.

Exit wounds are usually larger than the entrance wound and this is because as the round moves through the body of the victim is slows down and explodes within the tissue and surrounding muscle. This slowing down of the projectile means that as it reaches the end of its trajectory it has to force harder to push through. This equates to the exit wound normally looking larger and considerably more destructive than its pre-cursor—the entrance wound.”

– Explore Forensics


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Constance Thalken is an artist who explores the elegiac through photography and video. The life cycles of the natural world are central to her projects, which include examination of the human/animal relationship, the complexities of loss, and the interplay between life and death. 

Thalken’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and is in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Yale University Library, The Bunnen Collection, the Zuckerman Museum of Art, and Dean, Ringers, Morgan, and Lawton of Orlando, FL along with private collections.

Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Ain’t Bad Magazine, Muybridge’s Horse, NUMBER, The Photo Review, Art Papers, BurnAway, National Public Radio (NPR), Lens Culture, IMPRINTS Magazine, ArtsATL, and DeConform Magazine. Photographs from her Eyes Open Slowly project are included in the book publications Rich Community by Sapling Grove Press, TN, and On Death by +KGP, NYC.

Born in Nebraska, Thalken received a BA in Psychology from Barat College and an MFA in Photography from Yale University. She is Professor Emerita at Georgia State University in the School of Art and Design in Atlanta where she resides.