Power and Structure III. 2002
from the series, Campsite for the Non-Citizen
platinum-palladium print from 11×14 negative
This image comes from a series about the relationship between individual and community, citizen and nation. While much of this work grew out of my own experiences– for years I was, essentially, a person who had no claim to any nation or rights to citizenship, one of millions who were the grey subjects of post-colonial territories– it also, in a clumsy fashion, grappled with the collision between Hobbes’ (Leviathan) and Rousseau’s ideas about human nature and government. Somewhere in the midst of this, and against the backdrop of the then recent tragedy of 9-11, I sensed a crumpling of the meaning of citizenship and democracy.
It was a time of, and still feels like, a period of broiling transformation.
A time when a vision snaps into view and seems, just as for Melville’s Ishmael upon seeing a portentous painting in a glim-less inn, like “chaos bewitched”. (ch. 3, Moby-Dick, Melville)