Raymond Meeks: ciprian honey cathedral
ciprian honey cathedral
Hardcover, 300 x 240 mm, 96 pages
€50 / £45.00
Much of the work by American photographer Raymond Meeks (b. 1963) focuses on memory and place; the way in which a landscape can shape an individual and, in the abstract, how a place possesses you in its absence. In his new book, ‘ciprian honey cathedral’, Meeks captures the process of moving and relocating. In his poetic signature style, he reflects on the accounting for the combined household belongings and possessions between his partner and her two young daughters.
The photographs for this project were taken last summer, during an exhaustion process of moving to a new house in the suburbs. But for quite some time, Meeks has already been fascinated by the way we construct the world around us; how we carry our possessions, accumulated comforts, inheritances, markers of material success, etcetera. He asks: “What are the things we choose to carry forward, and what can be left behind?” and thus questions the very idea of home and the meanings we assign to it.
The publication consists of collection of symbolic, figurative black and white photographs taken in and around the new house. Apart from including the interior and exterior of the house Meeks also portrays his partner, Adrianna Ault, who is predominantly captured in the early mornings – just before she awakes. Or, to say it more poetically, on the threshold at which daily domestic life converges with the deepest state of sleep.
The books elliptical title, “ciprian honey cathedral”, arrives from an inscription discovered by Meeks on the backside of an abandoned dresser. The piece of furniture served as a backdrop for a series of “domestic sculptures” with objects found near a caveated home in rural upstate, New York.
For the cover, a text collage put against a light green background, Meeks got inspired by a Nick Cave song, ‘The Rings of Saturn”. The book also contains a few poetry segments reflecting on the notion of ‘home’.
Overall, it could be said, the book reflects the feeling one has on an early summer morning, when the world is at rest and we await a new day to come. On an even more abstract level, ‘ciprian honey cathedral’ offers a contemplation on the bond between vision, consciousness and comprehension, while Meeks is delicately probing at the legibility of our material surroundings and the people closest to us.
‘ciprian honey cathedral’ was recently on view at Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen in Amsterdam.