Destiny, Death, Dreams, Destruction, Desire, Despair, Delirium.
These seven concepts are universal to the human experience. We all encounter them on some level, often on a daily basis, and while the individual’s personal experience or interpretation may vary, the fact remains that each and every one of us encounter all seven. It is part of what makes us human. But even so, we would rather not talk about them.
They are ideas that come up almost exclusively in personal settings; concepts shared and discussed with our family members, our lovers, and our closest confidants. But outside of that inner circle, they are taboo. Maybe it is a defense mechanism, or perhaps a social tool saved only for use when bonding with those we cherish. But no matter the reason, they remain our secrets, and even though we share them to some degree with every person in every room, they are secrets that we guard well.
In his graphic novel epic The Sandman, Neil Gaiman took these seven concepts and personified them; giving them physical form and human emotion and setting them loose to walk among us. Intertwined in the drama and events of our lives, the Seven Endless dealt directly with the consequences of their own existence, while providing a commentary on human nature and our love and fear of the Endless themselves.
For The Compendia, I have taken these same seven concepts and given them a different physical form. Through interviews and conversations with friends, family, and acquaintances, as well as accounts of my own personal experiences, I have built an encyclopedia of sorts: a collection of anecdotes and accounts of these seven universal themes that we both embrace and avoid. Illustrated with images from the seven years of my life I have been practicing photography, the volumes collected here are put forth as a means of discussing these often undiscussed realities. Like The Sandman, they look to provide commentary on our overall human nature, but they are also examinations of the individual. Like the concepts they represent, the books of The Compendia are as universal as they are personal.
– May 2013