The Photographs from the Drowning Dreams section of our larger project “Truppe Fledermaus” have been technically quite challenging to create. Each starts with casting eccentric acquaintances who are game to be floated in period clothes in boggy, chilly, shallow bodies of water, the marshes, small ponds,waterfalls, rocky streams, rivulets with duckweed, and every wildflower, bramble, rose, orchard fruit, worm devoured heirloom produce from ransacked garden, taxidermies and road kills, birds lost in collisions with windows, pet rabbits and live frogs from the marsh, all float together in a wild orgy of hinted meanings and slippery historical references. The camera, usually a sony a6000 , is precariously held out on a long pole high over the water and the endlessly shifting floating set, and a remote program on an iPad is used to see and shoot the wide shots and close ups ,and (taking care not to cause too much discomfort for the models) often hundreds of high resolution photos are shot that are needed to piece together an image, It is then painstakingly reassembled in photoshop be blown up to life size, 6 or 8 ft prints, with the almost infinite details of a dutch baroque floral still life, damselflies alighting on the floating detritus of world soon to be lost, a paradise drifting out to sea. Later after merging all the layers, the images are fitted into an arched template (in reference to the theatrical proscenium and to Julia Margaret Cameron’s staged scenes of epic loss) ,and then printed in digital pigmented ink prints in black and white or color on matte hahnemuhle paper. o get the lush theatricality of the staged scenarios, the dreams enacted, and accidental mirrorings of treetops and cattails in the slick surface of natura morte.
The photos were created for two larger intentions, an exhibition where they are printed almost life size, and arranged in a room installation on all sides, 24 of them they form almost a chapel , dedicated to the flooding planet in peril, they follow the months through the year like a calendar, with each new series of plants in bloom or decay a new character arises from the marsh, an endless cycle of life and death. Each photo tells a short story, part of the larger, novel. We are writing literary fiction to accompany them, and a book, a sort of graphic novel in calendrical form will be published as final testament to the drowning dreams project.