Photographing the Amish
Alfred University, New York
A series of works that document memories of meetings with Amish people in Upstate New York. The Amish don't believe in photography. I asked Elva, an Amish woman how she remembered particular events where non-Amish people might take a photograph. She looked at me as though I was crazy and said, "We just remember them".
Photographing the Amish I (captured pigeon)
Taxidermied pigeon, modified wire basket
I met an Amish boy who had just captured a pigeon in an upturned bicycle basket. He and the pigeon looked at me mutely when I stumbled across them in a goat barn. I commissioned a taxidermist to recreate the pigeon based on my memory of its petrified body cowering in the cage.
Photographing the Amish II (re-enacted barn raising)
MP3 file(45 mins), re-enacted sound (wood, corrugated metal, nails), pen and ink drawing
The sound of an Amish barn-raising, re-enacted from memory. I recreated the individual sound of each worker and combined them into a soundscape of what I remember of the fifty hammering, climbing, plank-carrying men and the women, children and passers-by who watched them work.
Photographing the Amish III (the difference)
This project was made as part of a residency at Alfred University, New York. Please see www.alfreddiary.blogspot.com for a diary of the residency.