Taos artist Alivia Magaña, who works as a medical investigator on untimely deaths in her community, explores the notion of grieving for those we don’t know.
Ranchos de Taos, NM
Alivia Magaña is a photo-based artist originally from Junction City, Kansas. She currently works for the Office of the Medical Investigator as a Field Deputy Medical Investigator, responding and investigating untimely deaths in her community.
“How do you grieve for people you don’t know? Reaching In explores that notion through a collection of shells gathered from the river with found images printed on them.
Visiting the river became an escape from my day job in forensics during the pandemic. At the river, I found refuge away from cellular service, chaos, and people. While there, I began collecting clam shells from the bottom of the river and bringing them home; quickly I amassed a pile. These shells, when paired with found images, visualize the invisible weight I seem to carry with me after engaging with someone—their body, belongings, stories—after death.
Much of my art practice examines and reflects on my relationship with death, professionally and personally, through photography.”
Magaña received her MFA at the University of New Mexico in 2019 and her BFA at Kansas State University in 2015.