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Looking At God

It is generally acknowledged that a photograph is born of time, that it preserves a moment, that it is an accurate instance of an event. All of this seems to point to a process that is an effective rendering of reality. But what if the photograph is actually the shadow of a reality that is beyond human ken?

In a sense, one could say that a photograph is a thing that is not fully apparent.

The making of a photograph, in other words, still 'is'. The photographic print/image exists, 'is' now, but it is disjointed and disconnected from the moment of its making by our inabilitiy to perceive of time as anything but a linear phenomenon.

These images were made with that consideration. And the possibility that one could say the same about God. Or god, or the sacred. What if the face, that most central and highly nuanced signifier of personality, experience and expression, is also disjointed and disconnected from some deeper, more global personality, experience and expression? What if our perceptual limitations always keep us in that state of disconnectedness?

As I look at a photograph of a face, am I looking at the face? Is the face looking back at me, or through me, or I through it, or through the photographer? Is this experience of gazing muddying up experience itself and shifting what I know into something which becomes highly questionable, even chaotic?

The greek gods, particularly Zeus, occasionally bestowed protection upon their mortal favorites by giving them a special shield, known as the aegis. Ultimately, it was often a shield that protected the mortal from mischief wrought by other gods. Perhaps the face is the aegis - the god-shield protecting us mortals from god-chaos.