Three Versions of Judas, 2, Berriedale, Orkney, March, 1984. (printed 1984). Platinum-palladium print on 100% cellulose (Van Gelder simili japon) from original 18×24 cm negative.
Three Versions of Judas, 1, Berriedale, Orkney, March, 1984. (printed 1984). Platinum-palladium print on 100% cellulose (Van Gelder simili japon) from original 18×24 cm negative.
Borges was an oracular historian. When I read his short story, Three Versions of Judas, my understanding of time (not linear) and perspective (not just visual, and not just from one, two or three points of view) began to drop into another realm. During the same period of making these photographs, the story helped me ‘enter’ the platinum-palladium printing process in a way I had not achieved till then, and to break out of the language of black and white silver gelatin printing. This print, and the two related versions of Judas coming up, brought everything together for me: Zen and Borges, animated objects in front of the lens, images with their own center of gravity, dimensionality in the print that was free of tonal extremes, and recognizing the singular vernacular of platinum/palladium prints.
Jeoann Alfred, blind, at church, Cange, Haiti. May, 2014.
“And for as long as painting’s mode of vision would be constructed by men, the space in which women were obliged to lead their lives would be taken from them and imagined through the values of the ‘greater’ existence from which they were excluded.” Norman Bryson, in the concluding paragraph of ‘Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting’, Reaktion Books, 1990. p. 178
Bowl in St. Francis’ Chamber, Le Celle, Dortona, Italy. Marrch, 2010.
The Catholic church has a new Pope. It seems germane to post this image, made in a stone-hewn chamber in which St. Francis of Assisi is said to have spent many hours in seclusion and meditation. I am not the praying kind, but, Pope Francis I, because you walk into a challenging job, and for the sake of many millions who look to your leadership, and for the potential your office has to alleviate poverty and call on national leaders to greater selflessness, I wish you all the best and hope humility and kindness guide your actions.
This photograph may be unrelated to the Pope’s calling. However, I wonder about that as I consider why the image seems so strange to me — it came from nowhere except the place. I almost do not recall making the photograph, except for thinking if the exposure had been adjusted enough for bellows factor and reciprocity failure. Formally, it is extremely subtle and almost not there. Photographically, it is almost abstract and difficult to understand as an image of something. The light seems artificial but was not; it too was hardly there. It is humble, and unassuming; almost a throw-away. The line, if I may call it that, of focus drills its way across and through the stone wall. The bowl supports and contains darkness. I keep thinking of the labyrinthine machinations of the papacy. Or of the spiritual quest. Beware the desert.
Or Becoming The Maker
“The Doctrine of Joint Belief isn’t evidence of harmony between two systems of thought. It simply offers permission to ignore the clash between them….Saying that the mental lives of a Francis Collins or a Freeman Dyson prove that religion and science are compatible is like saying that the sex lives of Bill Clinton or Ted Haggard prove that marriage and adultery are compatible.” CLAY SHIRKY in response to The World Question Center’s, “What have you changed your mind about?”