Six of my pieces: Razor's Edge, Flow, Resurrection, Interstitial Space #7 and #8 and #9 are part of the Art of Dying show at Rutland's Chaffee Art Center which opens this Friday, November 7 - 5:00 to 7pm. Follow the link for directions/map and more information.
This is the statement I submitted to the Jury for the show:
Last fall my neighbor shot a coyote and strung it up in the entrance to his barn. Each day as I passed the farm the presence of this animal pulled at me in a sad and curious way. My uncomfortable feelings did not come from a moral judgement about hunting but from a deeper more mysterious place. I had been exploring the ideas of death in my work for several years, specifically what happens to a being's vital life force (whether it is called a soul or identity) once it dies. This coyote became a symbol of life and death for me. The resulting photographs offered a way for me to visually synthesize my thoughts and speculations on what happens after death.
The group of photographs I have submitted for consideration for the Art of Dying show chronicles my investigation into where the living go after death.
Because I can't know with certainty, or even uncertainty, what happens after death I have centered my work on the idea that death releases a soul into a liminal space – an interstitial world – where it deconstructs and becomes part of a universal flow of energy that surrounds everything.
The series begins with the coyote itself in two forms: the whole animal in ascension called Resurrection and a second piece, Flow, in which the animal disintegrates and enters a universal force field that surrounds all life.
The other images presented here, Interstitial Spaces #7, #8 and #9 aim at visually representing the emotional atomic energy I associate with an unknowable place that exists after death. The final piece submitted, Razor's Edge, describes the moment of death wherein the soul has yet to progress into the interstitial space and is still suspended in a mortal world.
All of this work is meant to be experienced on an emotional level and not meant as an academic or theological statement on the issue of death and the afterlife.
|detail: Saffran 2013 Flow|
|Saffran 2013 Razor's Edge 39" x 65"|