My work encourages deepened and intensified eyesight, whether of objects in the world or of the artifacts of digital photography, a re-envisioning that also frees imagery from specific emotional or symbolic associations, seeking to grant shapes, colors, and textures an independent integrity. The goal is an autonomous seeing not controlled by or limited to expressions of human emotions or affections. This goal is born not out of empty formalism but of a realization that our problems involve imposing superficial aspects of our personalities on all that surrounds us, infecting space with predetermined patterns of thought that apply the most controlling of prejudements. Do we even attempt to see the world beyond our narrow selves? What is the point of wandering in our halls of mirrors, when new discoveries await us in the sunlight? The only hope for our planet is if we humans can learn to free ourselves from our petty self-absorptions and to look at the world anew, as if seeing it for the first time.
Decades ago, as a frustrated filmmaker kept from my dearest projects, I began to wonder whether juxtaposing still photographs with different views of the same subjects might create openings in space that could lead to continuities that recalled the effects camera movements and editing in some of the greatest films can produce in the mind's eye. One key early work, Adjacencies 1: Iowa Houses (2005), tried for that effect by juxtaposing two or three photographs of the same houses taken from different positions. Unthreadings continues the play on space by combining close and distant portions of the same visual field, seeking separations, or tensions, between near and middle and far. I greatly admire the work of photographers such as Edward Weston, Helen Levitt and Lee Friedlander, but my work is not primarily based on the photographic qualities of single images. It instead owes debts to cinema, to poetry, to older painting, to architecture, and most of all, I would like to think, to classical music.
June 18, 2017.