In my twenties, as a reaction against my catholic upbringing and having Christ shoved down my throat, I lost faith in the unseen. I became a rational person (or so I thought).
In 1994, my friend, the poet Martin Boisvert proposed to read my cards using the Tarot’s Major Arcana. As he laid out the cards that I chose, it dawned on me that the Tarot cards used a sequential narrative (similar in format to comic panels) that told the story of how one acquires wisdom through facing ordeals.
Life, death, sex, love, compassion, greed; amazingly the creators of the cards had condensed the spiritual teachings of humanity into a visual language. In their original sequence, from 0 to 21, the Major Arcana’s tell the tale on how one should set about through life.
This was a revelation. It encouraged me to further research and define a photographic vocabulary extracted from my own unconscious. A study of Tarot helped me decipher my own early cryptic photos. What seemed opaque became clear. Around the same time, as a complement, I discovered the writings of the great Joseph Campbell who spoke with great wisdom and depth about the common myths linking humanity.
Married for ten years, I was now single and had a lot of free time on my hands. After assisting photographers for a decade, I started to work in a professional studio as a photographer. This job provided me with a huge advantage; I was given the keys to the studio and I could use the space and equipment for free whenever it was available. The studio seemed the ideal setting to create my own version of the Tarot deck’s Major Arcana.
In order to pursue my methodology of shooting all my effects onto the same negative, I used up to three sets in the studio, each highlighting different elements of the final shot. With a Hassleblad back, I would shoot one frame on the first set, run to the next set, shoot another part of the frame, then go on the the last set and add the final piece. This was very time-consuming and physically exhausting. For a whole evening of studio time; I would expose only one or two rolls of 120 film.
Between 1994 and 1995, I created 15 new cards and rounded off the Major Arcana deck with 7 photographs taken beforehand representing certain cards to a tee. These early shots from 1988-1990 were around the same time I was working on the first chapter of Bob Book. The section of