INSIDE THE FRAME by Joe Duty

Separation and unity

By | Published Thursday, March 1, 2010

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Religion not only unifies, it divides. While on a trip to Santa Fe, N.M., photographer Joe Duty witnessed a schism along the massive adobe wall of a Catholic church.

The adobe structures of Santa Fe appear to have sprouted organically from the earth. The connection between the buildings and landscape mimics the union between the faithful and spirituality. But even the strongest faiths are prone to separation.

Duty blends these ideas vividly in the image. The crack in the structure seems to flow forever in a chaotic line like a jagged stream. The seam stretches across the earth-colored surface as if struck by a spiritual earthquake. Such divides have served to separate cultures around the globe through time immemorial, resulting in violent conflict, political upheaval and numerous crises of faith.

But in the photograph, the crack eventually reaches a cross and a broad, pale, neutral sky. In the end, despite the strife and schisms found along the earthly plane, a peaceful unity is achieved.

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