Just Because It's In Slow Motion
Doesn't Mean You Can Stop It - (Over a decade of documenting
roadkill with various cameras)
A lot of people don't understand my art. They think I'm trying to shock people, or that I'm romanticizing death or dark ideals.
None of these is the case.
My work is actually a very deep, ancient conversation.
My obsession with taking pictures of roadkill is rather complex.
In its simplest, most intentional form, it is a deeply spiritual ritual that pays homage to our four-legged ancestors, a practice in compassion, and also a raw energetic connection to the natural world.
It is also a critical dissection of our/my place in the current world, and an apology for our/my disruptive influence upon it.
Hovering over these precious vessels that once held life, trying to shine a light in the dark, I am now able to acknowledge that I have slowly been transforming my camera into a shamanic tool all these years. Over time, my toolbox has grown; but the camera is still the point of contact. In many ways, my work creates new pathways for both the deceased and also for the viewer.
This practice further prods all the questions I've ever had about the separation and integration of art, life cycles, and spirituality from one another.
All of life is a delicate balance, with our time in this realm balanced by our passing from it.
As a society, we mistakenly fear death because we do not fully understand it, but even more so because we cannot control it.
Current societal ideals state that we must control as much as possible, shunning any symbiotic relationship with nature, any ideas of impermanance, and anything that is not immediately gratifying to the ego, in favor of the illusion of security born from control.
We do not understand or have forgotten, that this upsets the balance of life and is unnatural. In most cases, impositions of human will are by nature, a form of violence themselves. It makes sense that we perceive death as a threat, or a dark force, if we perceive it to be something to be influenced by violent intent.
In truth, we know that we cannot control it, and we do not accept it, so it becomes our enemy. We shun it, and any mention of our mortality is considered distasteful, vulgar, and sometimes dangerous. The topic of mortality has become a popular form of discomfort.
People are afraid to think of their bodies as merely temporary arrangements of atoms to house an eternal life-force. They are attached to their limited, constructed ways of thinking, and any change scares them. For this reason, my work is often not well-received.
Many artists create idyllic imagery of perfect beautiful moments and pleasing aesthetics. This has its place, and serves its purposes. However, we understand from experience that desiring for things to ALWAYS be easy, happy and controllable(comfortable) is unrealistic, unbalanced, and unnatural.
It affords no opportunity for growth or reflection, and therefore circumvents the very root of compassion, empathy and resilience.
This expectation of ease has become a silent agreement in society that makes us manic, mentally unstable, sick, oppressed and depressed. It turns us into control freaks to the point that we ignore our own ethics and the balance required of life, and actually pushes us towards death even faster at an unnatural pace.
Our current practices in consumption, gratification, and apathy are unbalanced and destructive. However, their nature has been aesthetically transformed by a social agreement to focus solely on their pleasurable, attractive short-term attributes as if only they existed. This way of thinking acts as a social lubricant, binding us together in a common mindset, but in reality, the long-term effects of this type of denial quietly rob us of our souls, break down our bodies, and weaken our minds.
Balance is natural. It is actually what we are all striving for, but are often distracted by other things and cannot recognize it.
Roadkill, as caused by human influence, yet being of a natural process that humans fear, illuminates a facet of reality that is often ignored, and affords an opportunity for me to attempt to restore a sense of balance to the situation.
In actuality, we might consider Balance to be the force behind all healing. I think that when we heal ourselves by re-balancing our perspective and actions, we will also be able to extend that healing to our bodies, our souls, and also out into the world which we have harmed.
"The closer you move to the light, the larger your shadow becomes."