Photographs by David Parker. Essay by Marina Warner.
92 pp., 38 quadratone illustrations, 16½x11¼".
“Parker’s pictures mirror to us an existential isolation evoked almost nowhere else
in the history of photography.” —Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, 2004.
When Odysseus instructed his crew to lash him to the mast, he was preparing
himself to hear the sirens’ song,“the song of the universe,” whose music was
known to lure sailors to their destruction. He plugged his crew’s ears with
beeswax, so that he alone could savor those seductive laments and experience
a mystical encounter with the sublime. If the sea is as close as most of us
come to another world, to the sublime, the solitary rock outcroppings, sea
stacks, that David Parker has photographed—sirens, as he sees and records
them—stand on the threshold of that other world, of the sublime. Parker
hears a siren song to contemplation, and these images of rugged towers
and islands chart his fascinated encounters with their enchanted world.
Ultimately, the song he heeds, and records for viewers, is of art.
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