For the heart, life is simple:
it beats for as long as it can.
Then it stops.
- My Struggle
Karl Ove Knausgaard
Sometimes the work comes first and the words and theory evolve after continuing research. That is the circumstance with the Near Eden series, including these pictures made in the town of Eden, Vermont. Including in the Gihon River. Like in Genesis, this river “bursts forth” from Lake Eden.
While at the Vermont Studio Center, I wanted to shift my work yet continue to consider how people dance through the landscape. I arrived in Vermont reflecting on my imminent death. After exploring several cemeteries, it became clear that the work needed to expand beyond my imminent death and consider the evolving and intriguing dream like qualities of the pictures being made. They also required that I push myself beyond my comfort zone.
The town of Eden, Vermont, became the focal point of these works that explore an archetypal dream like relationship between my body and the landscape.
Beyond the above quotation from Knausgaard, which captures one strand of Michel Foucault’s thoughts on death, I’m also thinking about the Humanist Geographer, Yi-Fu Tuan, who stated that people can only appreciate and understand space through movement. It is by moving through a space that place is established.
The viewer is also invited to chuckle at the incongruity of seeing not a beautiful nymph but an older man frolicking naked in the woods.