Photography‘s embrace of the subjective was birthed out of a greater human metaphysical break with certainty. The photographer, who‘s job it once was to document reality, could no longer embrace his own hope for a truth. It caused many photographers to leave the depiction of the real to other arts—namely cinema—and to follow in the footsteps of their friends the modernist painters. There came a problem with this turn of ideas, and that is that photography cannot pull itself from reality like painting did. It must always take something from its subject; the photographer must always be present within reality to make a picture. This has led many photographers to be at a loss for images. They take to abstraction, or more likely to distraction, by photographing the only things that can take their own existential crisis off of their minds; namely violence, sex, and the foreign. The modern photographer has lost her ability to find the wonderful life, the excitement she first felt seeing the images of the view outside her window. What happened to being intellectually stimulated by things like flowers? Or by the clouds in the sky? What happened to the unbearable beauty of the everyday? Or the idea of brotherly love? When we lost a sense of certainty we began to doubt, and as we began to doubt we lost our ability to create and be comforted by pictures of nature, beauty, and love. This break with certainty has also led us to become quite hardened materialists. We rejected the idea of anything more than the body and we were left with only shiny coins to comfort our cold and dry metaphysics. Is there more to us than just the body? What about this ancient idea of the Soul? What did it mean for humanity when in materialistic triumph we threw out this great and stimulating idea of ourselves? 

I am asking questions about and searching for concrete expressions of the Soul, beauty, God, and the great idea called humanism. If these things cannot be found in front of my lens, then where are they to be found? In a rebuttal to statements of relativism I began to cry out, O my soul ! I cried it out as the sun set over the horizon day after day and bathed my fiance and me in an orange light that made my fingers tingle. O my soul ! I cried as I sat and contemplated the ends of the universe; these suns bigger than ours, as many as sands on the sea shore, floating out in empty space. Oh my soul ! I cried as I looked at the trees and flowers shooting up out of the ground opening themselves up so green and colorful. I held the hands of the ones I love and felt the warmth that blood creates running through veins. I am searching, much like we have always done on this rotating sphere, and as I walk about among strangers and intimates I cried out, What wondrous love is this. O my soul ! 

Cooper Blade
Berlin, 2015