|This Man is Drilling a Well
|Artist / Creator
|Terry A. Ratzlaff
|Place of Publication
|Author of Text
|Terry A. Ratzlaff
|Process / Technique
|Cyanotype, Digital Inkjet Prints
|Number of Images
|Structure / Binding
|Primary cyanotype accordion, secondary cyanotype accordion, hand sewn signatures
|Medium / Materials
|Cyanotype prints, Gum Bichromate Prints, Digital Inkjet prints, paper clips
|Arnhem Paper (accordion) 32lb matte paper (signatures)
|Number of Pages
|10.625 x 14.625 x 1.25 inches closed. Extends out to 125.5 inches.
|Unique Artist Book
|Box / Wrapper
|Signed & Numbered
Drawing on the parallels between dreaming and collecting, This Man is Drilling a Well is a unique, unresolved book. Sourced from a single drawer found in horologist Greg Arp's clock shop, the book tumbles illogically through a constellation of fragmented images that reflect a junk drawer, a fold in spacetime where all ephemera accumulate in disorder: schematics, patterns, magazine pages, furniture ads, wood grain samples, paper, paperclips, wood scraps, photographs, letters, and various odds and ends. The ephemera––collected for forty years––recollects a modern narrative of movement and fragmentation, where the refutation of obsolescence resists the authority of time; everything is recycled, reused, and reappropriated for a renewed life.
Utilizing a double accordion structure made from two iterations of sequential cyanotypes, a secondary accordion nestles onto the primary accordion containing sewn signatures. The double accordion obstructs itself from stretching linearly, preferring to tumble backward over itself at the end. From here, the two accordions deconstruct, echoing each other while unfolding forwards and backward, revealing the potential for a new beginning, a new dream.
Made in collaboration with horologist Greg Arp, This Man is Drilling a Well was conceptualized as a tangential collection of images connected to the larger context of The Marches: a photographic labyrinth of time, memory, and absence. The work aims to understand better how humans attempt to construct and control the experience of time while carving out the infinite depths of Arp Clock and Wood Shop.
Artist BioTerry A. Ratzlaff is an artist and educator living in Lincoln, Nebraska. His particular obsession with trains and time––and the point in which these phenomena collide –– informs his current artistic research on time, vision, and modernity. Working primarily in photography and book art, his work emphasizes the sequence over the singular image to better deconstruct modern perceptions of time, history, technological progress and its adversarial effects on human consciousness. He operates a small imprint, The Basement Window, making small edition artist books and boxes. He received his MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Nebraska Wesleyan University.