Doug Drabek, Frozen in Shame

by Patrick Dubuque

The present tense doesn’t exist. We’re constantly told by our dance music and our teenagers to live in the moment, but by the time we recognize that moment, it’s gone. We act in the future, driving toward an imagined state, and we rest in the past. In between is nothing but a haze of dendrites and lost potential.

The alternative is to see ourselves how the camera would see us, how the people around us see us: the spinach in our metaphorical teeth, the slight sneer of our resting face. It is existence without context, without explanation or apology. It is terrifying.

Photography is small sample size: a moment cherry-picked out of a motion, inaction plucked out of action. Photography is either fake or flattering, or unflattering. It is a soft, firm lie.

This is not you, Doug Drabek. This was never you. The moment where this was you, by itself, never existed.