Still life

By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  May 18, 2010

He’s determined not to go crazy, but his crankiness turns more and more inward. He walks out behind the house, digs a hole, and lights a fire. He claims to have burned a doll made out of the pieces of his former self that were collected after the tornado. But when at last we see a slide show of his photographs, they begin to curl up and turn brown at the edges, and gradually they disintegrate in a conflagration of noise and projected distortions.

The subjects in the pictures are plain people, looking grim and nervous as they pose for his camera, anonymous, matter-of-fact, fixed but disappearing, just as Disfarmer himself wanted to be.

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