The Third Heaven Book

First produced in 2012, a non-editioned, hand printed and built, binding of this work is now available at USD 5000 each. It comes in a clamshell box, containing a double concertina (leporello) binding. Fully extended, the binding stretches for 145ft (44m). Closed dimensions are 10″ x 15.5″ x 3″. The double leporello allows an image sequence to be read in any number of ways: from the center folding out on both sides; from a traditional Western right to left or Japanese left to right; or folded out in any combination so that multiple sheets are visible at any moment.

Copies of the binding are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and Virginia Commonwealth University Book Art Collection, Richmond, VA. The piece was on display during RAY 2018, at the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt, May-September 2018.

Watch this video of the the leporello binding:


About the work:

The Third Heaven. The disorder of Haiti matters to all of us. It is a microcosm.

If Haiti were a person, this would be the person who is both pitied and reviled by the (global) village, this would be the person who has become overly familiar with pain and suffering and now can only function by attracting or self-inflicting more of the same. This person, scary and fascinating, has pathos. This person, at his core, has something pure, essential and noble, something that should amount to being beautiful and loved but stops at being pitied. Pity takes the air out of the room.

I believe that Haiti and its people are in a state of long-term trauma. My photographic work from Haiti is based on a narrative of disorder and resuscitation. Throughout, these images express themes about the  tenacity and resourcefulness. They point to greed, and the iatrogenic effect of global aid, foreign policy and non-governmental organizations.

Haiti’s trauma is symptomized by fractured communities competing with each other for resources, by communities prone to flash-point responses when dealing with environmental, human and political stress. Yet, kindness, civility and charity are common; these are the quieter attitudes and tend to become drowned out by the attention given, both from within the nation and by the international press, to the more traumatic characteristics. ‘The Third Heaven’, acknowledges this quieter attitude. Photographs always resist complete explanations. The specifics and stories around a photograph beg for conversations, which provide the architecture for long-term understanding and vision of the future. This work reduces the distancing effect of pity by provoking conversations about another way of being and striving to be human; a way that returns to humility and harmony within a more natural order. Thus, what manifests in Haiti also renders some effect closer to home. Heaven is not some place else or some time else, but rather a folding of time and space. Trying to understand Haiti becomes an opportunity for the falconer to see the falcon and the falcon to hear the falconer, while sustaining an ever ‘widening gyre’*. This work is both disorder and order. It is air, storm clouds, heaven – a reminder of how not to be, and what to strive for, globally.

*‘The Second Coming’, W. B. Yeats