Oh Shepherd, our honeyed marriage bed in the meadow was too narrow and though you herd wild things, you were deaf to my footsteps. As you lay there in the dew of me, curled, satiated, I tiptoed backwards toward our door under twisted reeds. Out where pasture led to brackish waters and red-hot mists rose from quartz I lowered myself into rockpores while rushing wings of screech owls seemed to sing: Welcome, Dark-Light Welcome, Wild-Love
I keep coming back to water scenes. I keep coming back to rivers and lakes. I keep coming back to oceans. I like to explore the interaction of people, particularly of young boys and men, with water. Water can disarm even the most armed of facades. Becoming one with water is not about rushing but rather about flowing. And flowing is the closest thing to being.
Denisse Ariana Pérez is a Caribbean-born, Copenhagen-based copywriter, author and photographer. She is obsessed with words, people and imagery and finding ways to make them speak to one another.
Her photographic work has been featured on It’s Nice That, The Guardian, El Pais, VICE, Afropunk, Dazed, Ignant, Hunger, Paulette Magazine and Accent Magazine.
In 2003 Max Richter wrote The Blue Notebooks in reaction to the violence he experienced as a child, and as a protest against the impending Iraq War. In all the years I’ve known him, this drive to talk about the very real and lifelong effects of violence has remained a constant in his work. We are human beings, we stand together, but our common humanity is fragile. When I was asked to make the video for “Vladimir’s Blues” – one of the pieces that make up The Blue Notebooks – I knew immediately that I wanted the very fabric of the film to reflect Max’s intentions. I have been working with infrared for ten years, and this led me to explore the thermal camera technology used by the military as a way to capture the heart of Max’s work. This is technology developed by weapons contractors to pick up on the infrared radiation emitted by people as well as objects, and commonly used in the Mediterranean and on the Mexican border, or on military aircraft and drones. It’s a technology that by its very nature dehumanises us, and renders us as little more than anonymous heat patterns. I wondered about these cameras of war and alienation, and whether I could disrupt their intention to create something positive, that speaks very much of individual experience. There is a strange beauty inherent in this imagery, a beauty that is deeply tarnished by associations with migrants hiding, and dying, in refrigerated lorries to evade detection by this very same technology. Would it be possible to claim this imagery for something hopeful, as Max’s music does? There were challenges. The cameras are unwieldy and cumbersome, often these days used in industrial applications but certainly not meant for creating narrative. They interrupt filming every fifteen seconds or so, there are only two lenses, and the depth of field is minute. One small movement pulls you out of focus. They can see through smoke, fog and haze but they can’t see through glass. They pick up radiation from objects as well as people – everything above absolute zero emits radiation. I had to invent a way to tell a story with them. Slowly a thing of beauty began to evolve. Most beautiful of all was the discovery that the heat traces we leave as we move around can tell the story of a piece of music and how it unfolds. A legacy that says, “we were here and we count”.
Music by Max Richter A film by Yulia Mahr
Conceived, Directed and Filmed by Yulia Mahr Editor: Mike Terry
Casper Kofi is a photographer based in London. Selected publications include: Hercules Universal, GQ (USA), Vogue Netherlands, Vogue Man, Self Service, L’Officiel Hommes +, Foam Magazine, The Greatest Magazine, MacGuffin, Dapper Dan, Neu Neu Magazine.
Exhibition: Adorned - Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam - 13 December 2019 - 11 March 2020
Shane McClatchey is a painter working in Laguna Beach, California. He received an MFA in Painting at the Laguna College of Art and Design. Shane teaches Figure Drawing for Citrus College and California School of the Arts. In the summer months, Shane is an ocean lifeguard at the Jersey Shore. Represented by Main Street Gallery in Manasquan, New Jersey.