3 Portraits of 3 Men

3 Portraits of 3 Men


Rick Johnson, Cortona, Italy, 2010

James Goedert, New Orleans, 2010

Robin Gillanders, Sewanee, 1994

Here are three men, letting their space become mine, and yours. The photographs were made over a span of some 20 years with a large format camera. I am becoming increasingly puzzled and intrigued by the idea of connectivity, or rather, the vaporizing of the individual. This puzzlement makes sense against the backdrop of certain ideas like Emergence theory and Thomas Lovejoy’s ideas about Gaia. The psychologist G. H. Lewis is credited for having coined the term ’emergence’ and clearly describes what I think of when I make my best portraits [caveat – I am no scholar, and have learned about the origins of “emergence” from this entry in wikipedia!] (my bolding below):

Every resultant is either a sum or a difference of the co-operant forces; their sum, when their directions are the same — their difference, when their directions are contrary.Further, every resultant is clearly traceable in its components, because these are homogeneous and commensurable. It is otherwise with emergents, when, instead of adding measurable motion to measurable motion, or things of one kind to other individuals of their kind, there is a co-operation of things of unlike kinds. The emergent is unlike its components insofar as these are incommensurable, and it cannot be reduced to their sum or their difference. (Lewes 1875, p. 412) (Blitz 1992)