Silent Moan by Michael Donner

In Michael Donner's words...

"I have always been fascinated with the idea that people are not as they seem. My self included? I believe it is a rare happening that the true self is shared, and even more rare that when true self is shared it is seen. Instead what is shown to the world is a projection of the blurred truth of self; a projection of how people think they should be seen. Curiosity leads me down this path like the curiosity to know what is behind a closed door. What is behind the door of a blurred projection of self? I always find the answer to this though is not as amazing as is the way a person builds their façade. We have marvelous tools of ego architecture that allow us to construct these grand fortresses that protect the fragile truth inside. It is these fortresses of ego that I am at wonder about. To know a truth about someone and watch them from behind the stage, as the lights go on, and the curtain goes up; to see the performance, a great one at that. Knowing I am the only one realizing... what a show it is. This project is my exploration from behind the stage of the greatest show of all... us. It is my view of false projections, fortresses of a facade, and the egos that stand upon them. The fragile truth that is covered up can be many things: a secret best not shared, an event best forgotten, a failure best not remembered, or perhaps a dead dream that will not rest. Whichever the case, they are all a part of us that we will carry; the past that is a silent moan."

The Process

"The process begins with the negative; the decision of how to destroy it and decay it is about looking further than when the shutter was released. Many techniques are used to further convey the concept in each image; freezing, melting, scratching, and cutting are a few. Once the negative is finished, the control of depth of field is done through the enlarger, allowing the choice in each print of where the focus will be. The prints are silver gelatin; archivally toned in selenium, and uniquely stained in tea. They are signed, dated, titled and editioned in ink by the artist own hand. The edges are then burned and beeswax is applied in layers, finishing each piece from conception to print. They are one of a kind within an edition; from the tones to the lettering, burning and wax finish. No two prints are the same."