13 May 2008
In enchantment there is no disorder, no unwanted chaos, no dishes to clean, no noise. In the vision of dreams we permit ourselves this luxury of simplicity. We float alone with our beloved desires, each tangent an extension of the simple pleasure. Each detail pulls us back towards our lives, placing us with things known. So, we return back to the one thing. We find it changed, out of place. We reduce, we focus, we return as well as we can to the simple vision.
Then there are the troubled dreams of others. Enchantment might involve being alone but not loneliness. Euphoria is the falling away of anxieties rather than the accumulation of them. Details tend to bring uncertainty rather than happiness.
Still we derive some strange pleasure from looking at these stark images. An odd pleasure, but it is there. The eye never tires... but what of the mind. Is there a limit to its capacity for vision? And what uncrowded feeling is this?
Is there a sharing of the journey, the recognition of oneself in another, maybe a stranger, one long gone, alone, without the need for agreement, understanding, or pity. Through these images we are perhaps able to simplify the dreams of others. We see them in their world but also extract them from it, and we extract from it something else as well. We steal away with the secret in a single glance.
In these pictures the subjects either seem widowed from their own dreams or perhaps lost in them. Within this fixed world the plight is hardly shared. There is here a paucity of hope, a drifting away rather than a floating towards, a space between. One measure of tragedy is the distance between what we could have hoped for with what we actually get.
Photos by William Schmidt, essay by Sean Cusick