The Fall - 2015 - Inkjet prints 30” x 45”
I work back and forth across the edge of blindness. I photograph in order to reveal what cannot be seen and to erase what is visible.
For eighteen nights in October, I made one image per night in the darkness of the woods of Harvey Mountain State Park and the on the estate of Edna St. Vincent Millay. I used each night’s image intuitively as a prompt for the next night, moving further and further into the woods to reduce traffic to the thinnest possible horizontal band, moving closer in and shooting from above to make the road into a raging river of light, and reshooting houses on successive nights to place the bursting lights exactly where needed. I wanted to see what we looked like to the forest at night. I wanted to look back at our intruding lights with the eyes of something that cannot see and exists outside of our understanding of time.
Even on moonlit nights in the dark of the woods, I could never completely envision the compositions I was creating. Instead I saw small pieces, the sections I could illuminate with my flashlight. Nor could I see the cumulative light building up in the image from the cars passing by. I could not see the trees so slowly bending in the wind nor how this would modulate the light pouring into the photograph from the houses. These photographs reveal the world in a way I can never see it. They expose time in a way I can never experience it. In doing so they begin to play with our most fundamental metaphors. By stepping out of human time, these images question our relationship to the world by exploring two sets of linked ambiguities: Light and Dark, Wild and Tame. The dark woods, one of our deepest metaphors for the dangerous unknown, become images of comfortable beauty. Their welcoming darkness is played off of the artificial illumination of technology. The human-made light becomes not only a metaphor for good and beauty but also a sign of invasion and destruction.
I stood at the threshold, unseeing in the darkness.