Alexa Jade Frankelis is a researcher and visual artist based in New York City. Before attending Stony Brook University where she received her BA in Art History and Criticism (Hons.), she had also attended the BFA Photography and Video program at the School of Visual Arts. There she learned the same techniques and processes that spirit photographers and other artists from the nineteenth-century had used to create their images.
She has shown her work in both institutions and galleries like Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, the School of Visual Arts, and Stephen Romano Gallery. As a researcher, Alexa has had her writings about witchcraft, spirit photography, and other occult subjects featured in Blurred Zine, Crisis and Catharsis, the University of Edinburgh. Most recently she has collaborated with Stephen Romano Gallery to create a virtual project titled, Apparitions, with some of the works featured here You can find more of her explorations into these eras on her Instagram, @TheMourningMoon.
The above images are currently featured in a collaborative project with Stephen Romano Gallery titled, Apparitions. I like to think of the camera as another form of communication. The first spiritualists were heavily influenced by telecommunication technologies of the mid-nineteenth century like the telegraph. The Fox Sisters first interactions with the ghost of the peddler were labeled as the “Rochester Rappings”. Adapting with technology, the camera could be viewed as a planchette, but at the same time it isn’t such a different concept from the spirit photographers of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Green-Wood, acting as a
refuge for those in the Victorian era and for me presently, evokes this connection to the past and enables the use of a camera as a tool of dialogue to convey messages from those who are departed.