"Son's of Abraham" Project. 2001 - Present

16 images Created 10 Sep 2020

When the World Trade Center fell, many Western eyes were opened to the fact that conflict can be more than a difference in political ideologies. One’s faith can be enough to build armies, start wars and crumble cities to the ground. At the center of this conflict are the three Abrahamic religions. All three claim to be direct lineage to the patriarch of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. All claim to be the children of Abraham.

After 9.11 the division between the “children” grew faster and wider than it had in recent history. This resulted in a great mistrust in the unknown and mistrust in their brothers. However, as with most of life, balance seems to happen. In the Tao, when the dark reaches its fullest expression, the light begins to show through. This project was partially inspired by a Rabbi and an Imam here in Tucson. Together they have been organizing community outreach programs to better understand each other.

The Project

The “Sons of Abraham Project” started in 2001 to investigate this balance. As some groups distance themselves, accuse and distrust, others want to build bridges, understand and trust. The latter is the focus of this project. So far, my photographic subjects have been Imams, Priests and Rabbis in Tucson Arizona, Los Angeles California, and The West Bank in the Palestinian Territories, that have shown interest in building bridges, communication and peace. The composition of all the photos has been the same. An Imam, Priest or Rabbi standing in front and to the left of a Mosque, Synagogue or Church holding a Quran, Torah or Bible. (See photos) It’s all the same, just a different man, book and building.

The Camera

The Son’s of Abraham camera is machined out from one piece of Aircraft Aluminum then polished to a mirror finish. On the four sides of the camera I machined out cavities to inset relics. On the left side I inset a piece of the torah from 1880 and on the right a piece of the Quran from the 1960’s. On the back of the camera I inset a piece of the Bible from the 1860’s and on the front is a piece of twisted metal that was once part of a support beam for the south tower of the World Trade Center. Light enters through a small pinhole in the center of the World Trade Center support beam. With no lenses there is just pure light and time creating the image on the film on the inside of the camera.

The Photo Series

With all my photography projects, a desire to learn about a subject comes first. After studying the subject for some time, I start to visualize how I want the photo series to look. I then construct a camera designed to be in direct relationship with my subjects.

The "Son's of Abraham" camera/photo installation is currently on exhibit at ArtisanWorks in Rochester NY.
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