Another pattern emerges. The stuff that seems to make me happiest is all about movement, disappearing, vanishing, being isolated, unreachable. And I ran away from home. I’ve left several countries, changed nationalities twice.
Yesterday I saw the documentary about the making of Alec Soth‘s Broken Manual, Somewhere to Disappear at the Sean Kelly Gallery. No surprise that it got under my skin. Those men – all men – have taken the impulse I feel in myself and taken it to its full conclusion.
I used to take pictures of men who lived by themselves, bachelors I’d call them, not quite urban hermits. It’s hard to do this, because however you take pictures people will stereotype them as loners, eccentrics, lost souls. I am not sure Alec Soth gets around this either, even though he professes to identify with these men (I don’t doubt that he’s genuine). The stereotype of the crazy man in the woods,Ted Kaczynski, Into the Wild, is too well-established, even in a country who holds up Walden as a defining narrative.
I felt guilty and embarrassed much my life for wanting to live like this. Perhaps I can pull it off in my old age?