Review Santa Fe: Andrew Beckham
Photographs are reflections, refracted and refocused light that mimic what the camera’s lens is directed toward. I wonder how Plato would have received a photograph, with the negative once removed from the subject, the printed photograph twice removed, and in both instances accomplished by focusing light and shadow onto the wall of a very dark room. My guess is that he would have been skeptical of such contrivances, preferring instead the wind with the light, the rain with the shadows. As do I. But images, however removed from a priori experience, provide another kind of knowing, and not so limited as the philosopher might have thought.
Looking back through the years that have made up my life, and on to the centuries that my ancestors inhabited, and further still to the increasingly distant past that describes the life of a river rock or the arc of a planetary movement, time becomes both elastic and unknowable. Attempting to look forward is every more absurd, with the future firmly beyond tangible experience. It is through wrestling with the vagaries of this inescapable transience that I hope to find some grounding in the present. My work as an artist is an act of faith that attempts to span such daunting temporal limits in an effort to connect with a universe that is infinitely larger than I am, even I find myself inexplicably connected to it: my family as near and as mysterious as the stardust that formed our galaxy billions of years ago.
Whether attempting the move out of Plato’s cave, or approaching the ineffable reflection of ourselves in the presence of the diving, the glimpses are fleeting at best. One way those glimpses are gained is through paying attention, whether you stand behind a camera or no. In my case, the camera stands before me as a mysterious agent, the dark little room inviting a certain kind of possibility: that we and the image reflect something that we do not fully understand, though with patience, reverence, and imagination, the fringes of a Whole might be mirrored, however dimly.
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