David Ulrich Photographs 1971-2011
I have been taking photographs since I was 11 years old. The nature of light fascinates me. My earliest memory was of the light of the world, and how it also existed within me. It was palpable. I quickly came to love the dual yet paradoxical nature of photography. On the one hand, having a camera was and is a strong encouragement to explore, investigate, and interact deeply and intensely with the light of the larger world. The camera was an excuse for all kinds of adventures. And, to the other extreme, the darkroom or digital lab introduces a contrasting movement: the beauty of solitude, of going within, and (literally) shutting out the light of the day in favor of the inner luminosity of one’s creativity and the lushness of silver halide emulsions or elegantly coated papers.Not long ago, I decided to scan negatives, revisit digital files, and make prints from 40 years of serious image-making. I finished the first draft of prints recently, settling on an even 100, making 25 prints per decade, from 1971 to 2011. An interesting process to be sure . . . looking back in order to move forward. Questions that burned deeply in my early life as a photographer when I could only intuit an answer now begin finally to reveal hard evidence. Do I have an intrinsic vision that reveals something of myself throughout different subject and multiple projects? Can photography become a means of evoking silence or joy or beauty or outrage in others? What am I interested in . . . really interested in, not just in the world of my dreams but in actuality, in reality? What would I suffer for in the world? What do I live for?
Hints of the project are shown below, and additional images can be seen on the gallery pages of this blog or on my website: www.creativeguide.com. My first public lecture on this project, showing slides of all 100 images, will take place on Maui at Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center, my former home and workplace (I lived on the grounds for ten years), on Thursday, September 27 at 5:30 pm. Please join us.