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justinjamesreed

01. Hallucinations (Standard Edition)

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Hallucinations
Self-published
Richmond, Va
2022
Edition of 30
13 x 9.5 in (33.02 x 24.13 cm)
Inkjet, Laser etched cover
Unbound
28 pages 


Design by Kelsey Dusenka

“The animistic proclivity to perceive the angular shape of a boulder (while shadows shift across its surface) as a kind of meaningful gesture, or to enter into felt conversations with clouds and owls—all of this could be brushed aside as imaginary distortion or hallucinatory fantasy if such active participation were not the very structure of perception, if the creative interplay of the senses in the things they encounter was not our sole way of linking ourselves to those things and letting the things weave themselves into our experience.”

- David Abrams, ‘The Spell of the Sensuous’

In this work, Reed takes a phenomenological approach, finding photography the perfect tool to translate his direct experience of the non-human natural world into tangible materials. While the series utilizes a highly representational visual language, it allows for the possibility of seeing something other that what is being shown. This demonstration of where representational qualities of photography meet the edges of perception and a translation of direct experience, is Reed’s primary focus.

In many ways Reed's work has never been about creating an index of something with a camera. It is much more reflective of his interest in what is possible, including the potential to perceive things better that are not necessarily visual. David Abram’s seminal book ‘The Spell of the Sensuous,’ which explores intersections between deep ecology and philosophy, has become the primary influence for this body of work. In it, one of the central concepts Abram’s speaks of is “the malleable texture of perception.” Reed finds this flexibility, this openness of perceptual experience, the perfect vehicle to allow him to explore how photography acts as a tangible material version of a psychic relationship between the seen and a landscape or, more specifically, non-human nature.

The works included in ‘Hallucinations’ are entirely comprised of images and yet fundamentally have little to do with what they actually depict. Instead, they highlight the potential of lens-based imagery to become more focused on sharing, rather than showing. They incapsulate the potential for perception beyond seeing.