Not photographing the Amish (pigeon)

2008 / taxidermy pigeon, modified wire basket / 14" x 11" x 12"

In Jasper, NY I met an Amish boy who had just captured a wild pigeon under an old upturned bicycle basket. He and the pigeon looked at me mutely when I stumbled across them in a goat barn. I commissioned a local taxidermist to recreate the scene based on my description of its frightened body cowering in the cage.

Not-photographing the Amish (pigeon) is one in a series of three 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".

The series Not Photographing the Amish was made during my tenure as Theodore Randall International Chair at Alfred University, New York. An article about several works made during this tenure was written by Laurence Biemiller for the Higher Education Chronicle. I kept a studio diary of stories from my time in Upstate New York. See also Not Photographing the Amish (barnraising).