okay, okay, i get it--you don't like the ornaments. in my defense, i have been very busy with finals. just trying to throw some fluff your way as a distraction to my absence. i know, it was boring. so back to the depression of the chateau. fine. have it your way.
the opening image
strong hand grasping
the blue worm
and finally, my info page photo, obviously not by me.
presented my final group of images last night, printed large, in a portfolio book. my class was very kind (how could you not be, i suppose, with such subject matter)--but one classmate even had tears in his eyes. it's good to see the images are powerful to other people. i am so emotionally tied to this project that i have no way of gauging it's effect. i typed an explanation on the large border of the above image as a title page with my old typewriter full of errors:
all photos taken by kitty joe ste-marie in november and december of 2007 at the chateau medical facility in rochelle park, new jersey. one room, one woman, six weeks.
i embarked upon this project to discover what presents itself under the same repetitive conditions.
i found strength among apparent fragility, spirit in a depressing place, chatter from a woman with no voice, and unexpected beauty in the horrible details of dying.
visual themes emerged again and again, each time calling attention to something new. hands reach for words, hands stabilize, hands call for help, hands grasp at love. the framework of tubes choke like vines, yet bring life via air, nourishment, medicine, limited maneuverability, distraction through television. the tubes join the retro 50's fabric of hospital gowns in lovely patterns. all is lit by rays of weak winter sunlight slicing venetian blinds, reminding me that even though i am 'family', with the camera to my eye, i am also voyeur. what i see and represent is slightly taboo. as a society we don't want to see this 'unexpected' yet significant end to millions of our lives, lest we glimpse ourselves in those lonely faces.