Remembered movies... images from a dream... scenes from another world—the photographs of Rocky Schenck are endlessly evocative, though the photographer asserts that "my approach is rather simple: I record on film what I see and what I feel as I travel through life." Still, these haunting images are no mere reproductions of everyday reality. By manipulating both the film's negative and the print's surface, Schenck creates images that are "illustrations of my conscious (and perhaps subconscious) dreams, emotions, and longings.... When I shoot these images, they are usually not premeditated or contrived.... I simply take my camera with me where I go and try to remain open to whatever life shoves... or gently places... in front of me."
This volume is the first book-length publication of Rocky Schenck's photography. The images range from human spaces—hotel rooms, store windows, lobbies, living rooms, even information booths—to natural places—oceans, lakes, forests, fields, and roadways—he encountered on trips through North America, Europe, and Mexico. For all their variety, however, Schenck's images form a coherent whole. Like lost scenes from a silent movie, they suggest bits of a story set in a vaguely threatening landscape in which loneliness and alienation are offset by moments of pure beauty. Refusing easy resolutions, Rocky Schenck never quite closes the story, leaving viewers to navigate their own way back to the daylight world.
Accompanying the images is an appreciative foreword by John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and a collector of Schenck's work. Connie Todd's introduction links Schenck's work with the nineteenth-century pictorial tradition and twentieth-century modernism and also provides a brief biography of the photographer.