Maury Gortemiller is an Atlanta-based photographer and educator. His work has appeared in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA), the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and the Aperture Foundation Gallery in New York. Atlanta’s Fall Line Press published a signed, limited edition series of Gortemiller’s images as part of the Free Fall series. He also writes on photography and contemporary art issues, most recently in Art Papers, Perdiz Magazine and The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (University Press of Mississippi).
My most profound childhood memory involves reading a family bible. The illustrations, mostly Baroque-era paintings, did not function as a mere visual embodiment of the text. Rather, the pictures communicated in a far more powerful language, evoking both comfort and trepidation. The words of the book provided little interest, but the imagery moved me to contemplate the unseen. It is the pictures I remember – not the words.
The imbalance remains when I consider the possibility of a personal faith. While I am ambivalent towards the old established narratives, the semblance of the mythical in the mundane enthralls. I identify this conflict in the everyday: objects and situations that are alternately ineffable, laughable, and at times terrifying.
Image credit: Maury Gortemiller, You Always Resist the Holy Spirit, Just as Your Father Did, Archival Pigment Print