Sometimes there are pictures that stay in your mind's eye. Long after you've experienced them. There is one by Marcus Haydock
, an image of a girl lying on the lip of an empty pool at night. It is like a scene from my adolescence. It is also like Ralph Gibson meets Daido Moriyama. It's sexy and dark and has an edge. A very sharp edge.
All of Marcus' work from his book, "Insurrection" has this charge. I was fortunate enough to meet the photographer at Fotofest
this spring. He had both this riveting black and white work from Insurrection that made my heart beat faster, the pauses, the pacing, it was like a story from a dream, sometimes a nightmare, surreal and compelling. Stark. Really stark. I liked the rhythm of it as I flipped through the pages, pausing to witness scenes like the girl with her legs dangling in the night into that empty pool, a vast blackness beyond her reclining body as if she and I are really the last people here. Another of a tangle of barbed wire followed by a jumble of bedding preceded by a naked girl's back with a knot of long hair against her white skin. It's his use of flash and his confrontation of the subject matter that stops me cold. A caged surveillance camera, a ticker tape parade frozen (again in the black night), a shopping cart full to the brim with bottles and debris, spray painted cars, spray painted walls... is this England or is this the apocalypse?
I'm looking at this work again, months after the meeting in Houston, shortly after the Brexit vote, and I feel that this unrest was there all along. Brewing. And Marcus Haydock was there to capture it. A participant observer perhaps. Or just a witness to our times.
I asked him for an artist's statement about the work. He said use it. Then don't use it. But I think there is a relevant bit here that is worth breaking the rules to put in print:
"I photograph as a way of accessing the unconscious to produce images that challenge my own perception of what is real. The images are waking dreams, and seen symbolically they allude to worlds beyond the surface of the image, rendering the invisible visible. The work metaphorically documents the ebb and flow of subtle and complex energies, through the immediate everyday world in which I live. This isn't an intellectual or rational process and isn't concerned with answers, but a deeper meaning to life through the narrative of the soul."
Indeed, the narrative of the soul...and all its darkness and light.
And now finally Marcus Haydock's book, "Insurrection" is available for purchase and I have to say, it has been worth the wait. Find it here at Zero Camera Books
. Bravo, Marcus!
Marcus Haydock was born in 1969 in London and lives and works in Brighton, England. His work has been exhibited worldwide, in venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro; the Latvian State Museum, Riga; and Photofusion, London. His work attempts to explore the human condition and our relationship to images from a psychological perspective.