Seul et Noyer (2008)

PhotoCollage:

I teach Art to adolescents who live with HIV/AIDS. The work is a little intense.

When you take these kinds of photos, you never know where the thing is going to go. And you never know how it's going to get there.

The people in my photographs are the people in my life. These are the people I love. That changes everything.

Tomas got in the tub. He wasn't looking at me. I was fiddling with the camera.

"What do you want," he asked.

"Tomas, you're alone and drowning."

His head bent.

He starts to cry.

There was no sound. Just a grown man weeping. Into the water.

"How do you know I'm alone and drowning."

"In this photo there will be two of you. One is alone. The other is drowning. I think we can make it seem as if one image is the other -- because it ...

Full Description

PhotoCollage:

I teach Art to adolescents who live with HIV/AIDS. The work is a little intense.

When you take these kinds of photos, you never know where the thing is going to go. And you never know how it's going to get there.

The people in my photographs are the people in my life. These are the people I love. That changes everything.

Tomas got in the tub. He wasn't looking at me. I was fiddling with the camera.

"What do you want," he asked.

"Tomas, you're alone and drowning."

His head bent.

He starts to cry.

There was no sound. Just a grown man weeping. Into the water.

"How do you know I'm alone and drowning."

"In this photo there will be two of you. One is alone. The other is drowning. I think we can make it seem as if one image is the other -- because it is."

They're always stripping off the veneer for you.

Showing you places you do not always ask to see. Scars mainly. They have so many scars and their scars are beautiful.

Stories.

Their bodies are their books. Extraordinary novels of courage and adventure. Stories. Survival.

Your responsibility as an artist is to get that TAKE you have constructed in your head as to who you think they really are.

You owe them that.

Often, in order to GET IT, they're going to hurt.

I know that what we do at times hurts you.

I want them to hear that I know.

I cannot say I know or understand why Tomas does this. For me. With me. I cannot say I understand why he exposes himself to this work. So many times. All I know is that he does.

We work so hard together.

Being that vulnerable is not easy.

To go there, you have to love them. You just have to. What's it like to feel alone and drowning.

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