notes on a paper universe a newly completed photographic portfolio by michael donnor
Photo: Headed to the beach in search of that point on the distant horizon where fact and fiction collide…
All those stars and space, I’m not sure how it all happened and how I got here. I like to think though that Earth was ripe for the possible metamorphism of its elements into life, and over time that life here became us. It may have taken some time, but what is some time when compared to all time? Eventually, people evolved and were able to manipulate Earth’s elements from clay to bronze to steel to plastic. I remember once picking up some childlike miniature stars I noticed on the ground. And then, at that moment, the stars that hung above my head, became as close as the plastic ones lying in my hand. In time both become the same; both are real and fictitious.
Wallace Stevens perfectly wrote, “The final belief is to believe in a fiction, which you know to be a fiction, there being nothing else. The exquisite truth is to know that it is a fiction and that you believe in it willingly.”
Photography connects my human experience of the world as it informed by science, and pondered through philosophy. I see my reality as relative; constantly being sketched in my mind using my five limited senses. My images return to a childlike innocence of drawing fictions, to expose that my human experience is a set of perceptions interpreted as facts. Like a photograph can be accepted as an accurate depiction of what was; I believe my perceptions are all to often accepted as accurate and absolute of what is. My work questions the reality of my experience, and reveal that the truths the camera is perceived to capture are only fiction.
A photograph is an imperfect visual representation of a perception. All I am is perception, but it’s the only truth I will ever know.