past and present tense by stephen voss

08

The photograph is printed small, the size of a playing card ripped in half. A muddy monochromatic image of a tent covered in a tarp, set in a parking lot that regularly floods when it rains.

Read More
Stephen Voss
07

I try to account for myself in an early morning, walking down a damp paved road lined by crumbling walls. Roosters crow behind those walls and smoke rises above the coconut trees turning faintly orange, like a fire being coaxed to grow. The old political campaign posters on the walls have nearly faded into the whitewash. Unable to read any of them, I think of the person who stood in that exact spot, a few feet from me, holding a stack of posters and some wheat paste.

Read More
Stephen Voss
06

In a town in the Norwegian countryside that bears my name, our children walk stooped over, picking from long lines of strawberry plants that tumble down a hillside.

They come back with berry stained hands, joyfully bloodied by exuberant picking. When we leave by train, we bring along one last container, eating them carefully, knowing they won’t last.

Read More
Stephen Voss
05

Each new city we visit feels like a chance to start over, an escape hatch from the known, everyday life. On these worn streets, we are outsiders, beholden to no one, unseen. And I think what I always think—what if we stayed?

Read More
Stephen Voss
04

Mathew Brady, Edward Curtis, even the great Nadar all outpaced their fame. Their stories have a certain rhyme - restless ambition and remarkable talent leading to fame and fortune, then a slow decline that must have been imperceptible to them at the time.

Read More
Stephen Voss
03

I am haunted by a photograph I didn’t take. I’d gone to Jamaica to cover a murder trial. A Jamaican woman had hired a man to kill her husband, a Swiss doctor. He was shot on a quiet bit of road an hour or so drive outside of Montego Bay. On the day we visited, the verdant tropical undergrowth came nearly to the road’s edge and nothing remained of the violence that had occurred there.

Read More
Stephen Voss
02

I’m embarrassed to not know of her. My broad sense of things is a point of pride, a defense system and more practically how I find a way in to each person, a way to stave off my own anxiety about “having something to say.”

Read More
Stephen Voss
01

At night we became lost children, unmoored, willfully unaware with skin scraped raw and tender joints.  In quiet moments as I create the visual map of a shoot, my eyes glaze and I overlay a past history of nose slides and grinds onto the present tense.

Read More
Stephen Voss