One of the things about being a photographer is that you rarely get your photo taken. While photographers may produce a significant record and documentation by virtue of their presence, they are not often explicitly imaged. Occasionally the amateur photographer will accidentally capture his or her shadow or reflection in a window, but these are largely unintended. However with this photo, which is one of my favorites from the series, purposefully includes my shadow at the center of the image. In doing so, I am attempting to take a reflexive stance that acknowledges the subjectivity of the photographic enterprise, which becomes a sort of analog to the presence of the archaeologist in the field.
Beyond the conceptual aspects, I love how the shadow breaks the image in half, while the two tire tracks of the road lead off to the right, that angle is in some ways mirrored by the dual poles of the fallen sign jutting off to the left with both the road and one of the poles terminating at the horizon.
Back in high school, my advanced photography class went on a field trip from Orange City, Iowa down to Omaha, NE for a long day of photography. En route to Omaha, we pulled over at a rest stop/junk yard of sorts as it seemed like an interesting place to photograph. I found this old car from the 50's and spent a good deal of time photographing it inside and out. I happened to notice the little St. Christopher pin (above) tacked to the visor. Now when no one was around I snagged it and tossed it into my camera bag where it stayed for about 10 years before it was moved into another camera bag. Last year, it made its way out of the camera bag and onto my desk where it has sat until this weekend when we decided it was time to clean up the office.
I grew up not knowing much about saints and such objects. It was quite a while after I had nicked this little pin that I found out what St. Christopher was really known as the patron saint of travelers. So when we were in Cyprus in 2009, we were sitting at this great little restaurant called Kalifatzia's and noticed the sign across the way.
Today, in continuing with the process of uploading my work to this new website, I finally got around to tackling the PKAP AIR series that I named Topos/Chora. It is hard to believe that the residency was over 2 years ago already. And over those years I have created a great number of other series, to the point that past work is quickly left behind under the demands of the MFA program. So it was a joy to pull out the images again and look at them as old friends that I've not seen in a while.
Today in viewing them in my home office on the third floor of our apartment building, I look out upon two gloriously green trees (one within feet of my window) and I am struck by the contrast of these greens to the ubiquitous browns of the images. Often the only islands of color in the images are the buckets or clothing, and even that is scarce when the the khaki team t-shirts are paired with khaki pants. But even this still suggests my overall conceptual goal of the project as a reflexive perspective of humanity in the landscape.
Over the next few weeks I hope to spend a little time with these images again, and share some thoughts about my favorites.
One of my favorite things about moving back into the arts world is discovering print exchanges. While I have not done many, (I just completed my 4th last night), they are great and a no-brainer to participate in. Not only do they get you working, they are a nice line on the CV, generally low in cost, and you get a stack of artwork in exchange for yours...as I said...a no brainer.
The image here is for an exchange put together by La Calaca Press with a Day of the Dead theme. Click on the image to see other work from the exchange on work La Calaca's website.
Each group that puts an exchange together does it a little differently. Many do not have an explicit theme like La Calaca's, and many have different sized prints and edition numbers. The image above was 7x9, whereas the one I finished last night for the Printmaking Center of New Jersey is 11x11 and in an edition of 12. PCNJ will keep 2 (one for their collection and one for the traveling show) while the other 10 are distributed randomly to other artists. In turn for my twelve, I will get 10 prints back.
This past year, one of my former fellow students organized a print exchange of North Dakota printmakers with an edition size of 20ish and a size of like 11x17. This series of prints is now traveling through North Dakota on the NDAGA circuit of galleries. So, in these cases, not only did I get stack of wonderful prints, I got a significant traveling exhibition as well for my CV.
Well, here is the first post on the new site.
Here it goes...
Its interesting to me how often a certain ideas or discussion occur in bunches...as in when different people, of different groups bring up similar ideas and you laugh internally thinking, "didn't I just have this conversation with so and so?" Well this post is kind of like that for me.
I wouldn't say that I was necessarily a fan of all that thegospelcoalition.com folk put out, but this article was pretty well done and fair. What are Evangelicals to do with the creeds and councils? I grew up in an evangelical Reformed church where the Apostles Creed was said regularly and we were certainly aware of other the other creeds, like the Nicene, which was said perhaps once a year. So in someways, the title and and even the necessity of the statement would for much of my life seem absurd..."What do you mean, 'what do we do with the creeds and councils'?" We use them as a guide and rule for our faith. But it was on a plane somewhere over the US when a devout Southern Baptist stranger in the seat next to me asked what I was reading. It was Alister McGrath's scant volume on the Apostle's Creed. He was my age, which then was about 30, and he had never heard of the Apostles Creed. I was dumbstruck. I know that Baptists are non-creedal folk, except for the very creedal statement "No creed but the bible." I had assumed that while it may not be prefigured into their lives of faith, that it was still known.
I appreciate the writers attempt to connect the Evangelical tradition with the larger history of the church and many of the points he makes does counter prevailing assumptions about Evangelicals and tradition. I am still skittish about how he might be referring to the authority of scripture and its inspiration in a culture of individualism, where we say we place the authority upon scripture as the norm, but authority is still tied to our interpretations of that, and thus the authority we confirm upon scripture is really rooted in the individual prone to distortions of all kinds and claims of truth. It is exactly for this reason the Evangelical church is in such desperate need of the catholicity of faith, across the ages, and around the world, which necessarily includes the Creeds and Councils.