The scenes look very surreal. The pictures were taken with a sympathetic and intimate eye—I suppose it’s Ohio, where the artist came from. The perspective of the people and the landscapes are incredibly exquisite.
– Taka Ishii Juror, Hariban Award 2019
Locusts have plagued humanity since before prehistory; devastating crops, causing famines, and forcing human migration. They would have arrived unexpectedly, often after a change of wind direction or weather, the ominous buzzing and darkening sky serving as harbingers of the oncoming devastation. According to the book of Exodus, locusts were one of ten plagues God inflicted upon Egypt as a demonstration of power. Yet, locusts are also said to be the food of prophets and holy men during times of pilgrimage and exile in the wilderness. Loss transformed into sustenance for the “voices crying out in the desert”. ‘The Locusts’ brings us to examine the complex relationship between anxiety and hope, blessing and curse, sin and salvation. The photographs in this series were made in my backyard in rural Ohio. As the son of an evangelical missionary and pastor, I draw largely from scripture, theology, and existential philosophy. Like most of the classic western poets and artists, my early thinking was shaped by dualistic notions of christian orthodoxy. However, the same, paradisiacal, notions have also been largely responsible for the suffering we see in the world today. My backyard, both paradise and wilderness, signals a move away from this way of thinking and invites us to search for grace and healing despite, and in, the brokenness and imperfection of life. As Elizabeth Barrett Browning said, “Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes;”.
Jesse Lenz (born 1988, Montana) is a self-taught photographer and multidisciplinary artist. He works with analog cameras, processing and printing from black-and- white negatives in his darkroom. As an illustrator he has created images for the most well-respected publications around the world, including TIME, The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many others. He is the founder and director of Charcoal Book Club and the Chico Hot Springs Portfolio Review. From 2011- 2018 he also co-founded and published The Collective Quarterly and The Coyote Journal. His book, The Locusts, is forthcoming in 2020. He lives on a farm in rural Ohio.
■審査員特別賞 – ジェシー・レンズ
「The Locusts」シリーズより とてもシュールな光景。親密で、共感を込めた眼差しでとらえられているので、おそらく作家の出生地オ ハイオ州なのだろう。人と風景のパースペクティブが絶妙だ。
– 石井孝之 ハリバンアワード2019審査員
ジェシー・レンズ(1988年、モンタナ州生まれ)は写真を独学した写真家兼多分野で活動す るアーティスト。彼はアナログカメラとモノクロフィルムで撮影し、自ら暗室で現像しプリントを制作する。 彼はイラストレーターとしても、TIME、The New York Times Magazine、Newsweek、Rolling Stone等、世 界中で愛読される出版物のためにイメージを描いた。Charcoal Book ClubとChico Hot Springsポート フォリオレビューの創始者であり、ディレクターでもある。2011年から2018年の間には、The Collective QuarterlyとThe Coyote Journalの共同立ち上げと出版に携わった。彼の出版物『The Locusts』は2020 年に出版予定。現在オハイオ州の農場に暮らしている。