arthead sf

arthead sf blog was created to bring readers the meaning behind the art. These are not critiques or interviews with artists. Each feature is written entirely by the artist, revealing only what they feel and want readers to know about the featured piece. If you see a piece of art you'd like to know the meaning me. And subscribe to my blog below to get updates when new features are posted!


Monday, September 17, 2007

Corey Arnold

"Reindeer People"

Last year, I lived with a Sami family in Norwegian Lapland for a week. It was the annual reindeer slaughter season and I promised to work if I could hang around and take some pictures. I didn't have any big expectations of the trip. Just that I knew there would be a lot of killing, fresh meat eating, and slow, broken conversations in a Northern Norwegian dialect. I lived in a tent in their backyard.

It took that entire week to know them. I put the camera down a lot. I didn't want to seem like a scientist taking advantage of them for my personal research project.

I suppose this is the struggle with most photographers that shoot documentary projects. How do you get close to your subject when you constantly have a camera strapped to your face? Well, I did feel closer to them around day 7 but by then it was too late, I had to go home. Still there are thousands of pictures from this unfinished project lying in my drawer unseen. This is one of my favorites.

I find it curious that people love to smile and pose next to animals they've killed. My old photo albums have hundreds of pictures of me proudly holding dead fish as a kid. What makes killing such a proud achievement?

The Samis were certainly proud people and after living with them, I dreamed of being a reindeer herder myself, hanging a big handmade knife from my giant belt and slaughtering reindeer as a means of survival and trade.

By Corey Arnold


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home