Duane Michals - Carry Me Daddy, 1989 (top); My Father Could Walk in the Sky, 1989 (bottom)
Text in the photographs:
Carry Me Daddy, 1989
Carry me daddy, all the way home. I’ll lean on your shoulder, even after I’ve grown. And when me get there, tuck me in bed. I’ll still be your son, even after you’re dead. While I am dreaming, sing me a tune. A song of my birthright, the sun and the moon.
My Father Could Walk in the Sky, 1989
My father could walk in the sky. He promised to teach me how. But he left without saying goodbye. I don’t cry. I’m a grown up now.
The title Bare Handed refers to my subjects’ powerful yet intimate hands-on connection with their work—both land and animals—on the farm and in the wild. In these photographs, the heavy, overbearing machinery associated with modern life gives way to the simple, but potent, symbiotic relationship between man, creature, and the forces of weather, and allows these individuals a style of work that resembles a form of meditation. While making my photographs, I discovered that these individuals have a spiritual commitment to their work that goes beyond the rational and points to the power of faith.