Captured in the Air

Captured in the Air (2020 - work in progress)
slide projections, sounds 

“This is a portrait of Loren Connors, whom I have collaborated with for the last two decades. Last year, I found approximately one hundred undeveloped B&W Tri-X film rolls in a cabinet in my apartment. The bag was labelled "Loren Connors in the Air."

During the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I developed two dozen of these rolls, and thankfully the images appeared despite being shot around 2005 - 2009. Most of the photographs were captured in a private and intimate setting in his apartment on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, as my wife and I used to visit him regularly. We would spend a couple of hours just chatting, and his wife Suzanne joined occasionally. Loren often showed us the drawings he recently made. At times, we would go to the museum to see his favorite paintings by artists such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. There are also some images of him playing on stage.

Looking at these photographs, somehow Loren's life started resonating with these unprecedented times—when people are forced to be alone and face themselves. He's a hermit and lives such an isolated life. His apartment, where he has recorded thousands of hours of his guitar playing alone, has almost no decor— as if it’s a monastery. A profound stillness hovers. Perhaps this is a sort of perpetual quarantine...?   

Loren was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in the early '90s and struggled with it until he developed ways to cope with it. He was aware his time was limited, and that forced him to get to work. Every morning, he would record his guitar with his 4-track tape recorder. Then, in the afternoon, he would go for a walk exploring the city. His guitar doesn't sound like anybody else—just like his life—a singular and distinctive voice with a sense of urgency.     

There is something magical about the way he shapes his life and music.”     

 — Aki Onda, 2020