Old Joy



Photographs by Justine Kurland
Fiction by Jonathan Raymond

Artspace, 2004.

In this meditation on cosmic themes of purification and desire, writer Jonathan Raymond describes a hike by two old friends to remote hot springs in the foothills of the Cascade mountain range. As the hours progress, and the landscape evolves, and Kurt and Mark enact a pilgrimage of consciousness replete with mystical insights, wonderment, and intimations of subtle spiritual battle. Which path is the truly enlightened? What perception is the truly devout? How does one live in a fallen world? Coupled with recent work by Justine Kurland–sumptuous color photographs of burned forests, bearded men and naked visionaries in wilderness tableaux–Old Joy‘s story of sacrificial transcendence spirals toward an inevitable, violent consummation.