Nat Raum

Nat Raum is a multimedia artist based in Baltimore, MD working primarily with photography, creative writing, and bookmaking. She graduated from the BFA Photography program at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2018 with a studio concentration in book arts. Nat’s artwork primarily explores her relationship with her body and the world around her following her past sexual trauma. She is also interested in the intersection between sexuality, anxiety, and trauma and how it manifests itself, both personally and broadly, in the digital age. She finds that often, short small-edition artist books are her most effective method of storytelling. Nat’s work has been exhibited at venues such as Davis Orton Gallery, the Midwest Center for Photography, The Museum of Human Achievement, and the Griffin Museum of Photography. She has self-published two artist books and was published in Femme Fotale’s Volume V: Resistance, Resiliance, and Hope. Nat is also the founder of Darkside Collective, an online space for emerging artists in all disciplines to receive feedback on their work.

Waver / Quiver

Finding myself increasingly obsessed with documenting the physical manifestations of a state of mind, I began ruminating on the words “waver” and “quiver”. In a manic state, I penned a poem. There is no criteria for the images in this collection other than having been created in the same state of mind in which the poem was written. I constantly search for the words to articulate what is happening inside my head during a manic state and have found “chaotic neutral” to be the best descriptor. I seek out the parts of the world around me that feel just odd enough to be true. Waver/Quiver is a documentation of a chaotic neutral reality, or an extended real-life fever dream, if you will.

stuck on the words “waver” and “quiver”
stuck between wavering and quivering
what does it mean to quiver?
what does it mean to waver?
one is a synonym for the other but arguably also the opposite

to waver: shake with a quivering motion, become unsteady or unreliable
be undecided between two opinions or courses of action, be irresolute
(I always mean the second or the fourth)

to quiver: tremble or shake with a slight rapid motion

I waver because I’ve been wronged
I quiver because I don’t care
and I can’t feel my face or toes anymore

roll me a blunt
and play with the cellulite on my ass
if I sit on your face
will you please shut the fuck up?
what is actually the point of making an effort?
is anything that starts on the internet ever meant to be?
can it be?

grip my thighs as they quiver,
relish in my moans before I waver
pour yourself another glass of rose
take me

he says “so this is what your early twenties are supposed to be like”
do I agree?
god help me

orange streetlamps fade
give way to blue and grey
the bell tower you can see from my window obscured
in a haze of water particles
where am I?

roll over, take a tiny hit off the pen on my bedside table
(it takes a full hour to see clearly so thank god I don’t have to drive today)

stand up still topless
under no illusion that my curtains aren’t sheer
if I can see the view they can see it right back
how much do I care?
my waist is tiniest in the morning

pop four pills for breakfast
with a peach-pear sparkling water
Prozac and Abilify still on my tongue
rattle a quick snap off while I’m still naked
validate me, daddy

my brain is doing that thing again
calibrate, calibrate
who the fuck do I think I am?
don’t you know who I think I am?
kind of feel like I am the entire world
kind of feel like I’m going to rot alongside all 1,857 of my unread mass emails
not sure, will keep you posted

I’m the dying orchid on my kitchen counter
the pizza box in the back of my car
regifted novelty socks that say I’m A Delicate Fucking Flower
the last sheet of film
the first one you call
the second circle of hell
your worst motherfucking nightmare
(you don’t even know my real name)

do you mind? this is a private conversation

To view more of Nat Raum’s work please visit her website.

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