Josiah’s Farm

Josiah’s Farm focuses on Josiah Early, a young man raised by a Mennonite minister in Virginia. Our lives had crossed paths in New York City and when in 2006 Josiah, his best friend Ezekial and other childhood friends retreated to a rural Catskills town, I followed with my camera. They began cultivating not only the land but what I viewed as their own versions of masculinity, on a large secluded property. Josiah and his friends were set free, and this place became their domain as they were reconciling themselves with manhood.

My initial visits were brief and it was not until 2009 that I actively began to investigate their experience. Into late 2012 I returned often, for both brief and extended stays. I placed myself there as a participating witness, responding to and not dictating the moments enacted. Though unquestionably my presence is important and integral in the process and creation of the work itself, no matter how close we grew together I still remained in many ways an outsider.

In order to gain access, I assimilated into their constructed world as seamlessly as possible and worked to embody their notions of what a woman should be and then be that for them. The camera itself played a role, for them it served as a validation of their choices, actions and lifestyle. For me it was the means with which to visually investigate the myths manifested, the cross-section of reality and fantasy that converged there.