After Ascension and Descent

take the title of this portfolio, "After Ascension and Descent," from a phrase by Pierre Joris in A Nomad Poetics in which he calls for an approach to writing that accounts for what Gilles Deleuze refers to as "rhizomatic," allowing for varieties of discourse, idioms, syntax, even languages.

I gave the work this title because I am at a loss when it comes to speaking of knowing one's roots. My family, with its adopted members, silence about its past, reverence for the absolute at the expense of the profane, has taught me to speak one language only. To be monolingual is to be foreshortened, and like so many Americans I know I speak a provincial, not a global, language. The advent of "wireless" living does nothing to allay this. If anything, we are almost hopelessly tethered—to each other, to the world. It's when we forget this, when we think we are free beyond complicity, that we encounter trouble looking for meaning.

I watch as our attempt at domestic growth reaches for infinity and then think of growth in terms of what matters to me most, my ancestral family, the roots mostly hidden. I am aware of a subtle desperation in these pictures, as if I were trying to save something, to ground the dearest thing somehow to keep it.

Thinking in these terms has resulted in these images, an expression of desire for growth at the moment of inhibition, when hesitation is the gap between desiring and having.

Charles Grogg (b.1966, Gary, Indiana) is an American contemporary artist and photographer. He currently resides in southern California where he produces fractured photographic images printed in silver and sewn through or in platinum and palladium on handmade Japanese washi which are restitched into whole images and frequently feature tethers, sutures or other three dimensional productions. The resulting images focus on issues of growth and restraint, hesitation and power.
Grogg's recent work emerges from the early Vik Muniz, from Robert Fichter, Thomas Barrow, and Andy Warhol's sewn multiples, as well as his dedication to cross-disciplinary modalities.

His images have been shown in galleries internationally and published widely in fine art photography periodicals.