The life that is in him will manifest itself in growth, and growth is an endless, eternal process. He will not be afraid of withering, because decay and death are part of growth. As a seed he began and as a seed he will return. Beginnings and endings are only partial steps in the eternal process.
Henry Miller, Sexus, 1949.1
Portraying the traces of
us with people who offend us because they don’t seem to want our pity or our acceptance. She confronts us with the falsehood of our own preconceptions.
Norfolk is a war photographer uninterested in portraying the immediacy of the moment, but instead explores the wider consequences of our actions that are often ignored or conveniently forgotten. In one of his projects he photographed secret military facilities, revealing the sinister threat of violence lurking in the landscape. However, in a broader sense, all of his work is concerned with shining a light on situations that are usually ignored in the narrative of mass culture.
What Norfolk does for our actions, Arbus does for ourselves. Both of them offer the messy and complicated truth over the superficial myth, and this is what I strive to achieve with my photography. I am following their lead.
SDk: We believe you’ve done a series on toilets and bathrooms. What’s your fascination with these places? (It’s okay… we like them too.) Do these spaces differ for you in any way from, say, the expanse of an abandoned factory or a street scene?