When I left for Cyprus, I really had no idea what I was getting into or what the body of work would look like. I had vague ideas of the human fingerprint upon the landscape and the distance between the contemporary and ancient records made upon/within the landscape.
When I got there, I began looking for how we were marking the land in search for the historical marks. And with this perspective, several shots became especially poignant. This one in particular conveys those ideas. Here the literal footprints imprinted upon the landscape divide two forms of trash: one contemorary, one ancient. Both offer some sort of record of human presence illustrated by the ephemerality of the footprints in the dirt. Here the two worlds become condensed into one shot. What is striking to me about this, is how these ideas pass over into the theory of history, hermeneutics and beyond. Here we can see, literally see, our impact upon our studies. We cannot ignore our our own presence, presumptions, pe within our research.
The photo embodies my hopes for the overall residency, with a touch of humor as well.
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.
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.