Fern Nesson

" Art should not be copies of living things but itself be [a] living thing." (Malevich)

Roland Barthes asserts that " a photograph is a witness, but a witness of what is no more -- a record of what has been. Every image is an image of death.” But Barthes is wrong. A photograph need not be dead. It may constitute a new, living moment. An image that embodies energy and engages the viewer in a mutual experience of it is not merely a record of a past moment. It creates new energy. Like Cezanne's paintings, it is alive, it breathes.

I use my camera to create life and to defy death. The images in “Animate” are not constructed. Everything in them is real. Even absent people or other living things, these inanimate subjects possess energy that was present at the moment of capture and that remains there now. They embody the moment of transcendence when mass becomes energy. In a transcendent moment, we know ourselves to be infinite -- a part of the universe, connected to and melded into everything else. We perceive, if only for fleeting
seconds, that we will never die; we will merely change in form. Nothing is ever lost. Those we loved exist forever all around us in a different form. And we will too. These images breathe and pulse. They remind us of our own transcendence. I (and they) follow the gentle, exhilarating command of that wisest of verses in the Tao Te Ching: "be living, not dying."

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