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Jamie Campbell

Fever Coat is an open-ended collection of images, which thematically investigates a rare condition particular to the feline species. A diagnosis of Fever Coat is made when, after a feline’s immune system has fended off a major fever or illness, a substantial colour-shift in the animal’s hair follicles occurs, turning the darkest fur into a smoky grey or even pure white. This transformation of the animal’s coat, an outward sign of inner trauma that might otherwise have gone undetected, only becomes visible once the fever has passed. This visual evidence of bygone sickness, much like a photograph, offers insight into the past—but only, by definition, after the condition to which it testifies is gone.

Roland Barthes stated, on the topic of the photograph, “I fear a catastrophe that has already occurred.” Investigating this idea of exposure after the fact, my project uses Fever Coat as a metaphor for the photographic process. Just as Fever Coat unveils illness retroactively, similarly the photograph offers delayed evidence of the photographic subject or situation. In both cases, knowledge is made available only after the fact.


Artist would like to acknowledge the support of