The Sanity Decline.

Posted in literature, photography by Yousef Alshaikh on 14/05/2010

The Sanity Decline is a photography/poetry experiment I was working on back in October 2009. The photography technique used to create this series relies on firing two handheld strobes numerous times throughout the duration of a long exposure to create multiple overlayed impressions of the models directly in-camera; high contrast exposure is maintained through the use of two ND -2 stop filters. Minimim photoshoping was involved too. This project is also meant to go on to become a stop-motion video, but is currently on hold. Thanks to Naif Al-Mohaya, Khaled Hashem, Inmar Al-Rifae,  and Ala’a Malkawi for modeling and helping out.

Oh you, who immortalize the immoral,
and by fibers of dust are enthralled.
Oh you, who live staged renditions,
and by counterfeit believes are reined.
I speak to you here of a human condition,
and of its uncanny thirst for ruin.
I speak too of myself, now engulfed in smog,
and I speak of the cascading path downwards.
My tools as always do fail me, and so do my emotions;
yet I shall with divine intervention, if need be,
explain to you the emotions of this man,
now bereaved of all sanity.
I have walked amongst you, for want of shelter,
and for fruitless need of acceptance.
I, the mortar that would not bind;
And you, the brick wall that would not sustain.
I have beseeched of you, and I have begged;
I have stood at your door, unclothed of all pride,
and thusly I have witnessed you for what you truly are:
The Devil. Nothing more than a man, garbed.
You do not so much as mock thought, yet your crime is worse still;
you disregard it all together, and unheedingly flock.
You, who are “sane”, and in your collective misjudgment, poor;
You, of plastic emotions, and malleable resolves.
My ways as always do displease you, oh friends of sanity,
and my experimental tendencies daunt you even more so.
And I, beholding you suddenly for what you truly are,
have now decided to leave you and your ilk behind.
A decision drawn by design, in heavens ever so grand,
to tread down spiraling paths and unfolding chasms,
and to attain with much earnest and resolve
the abysmal condition of sanity decline.
And such I stand before you, from all reason removed;
detached from man, its states, and its thoughts.
Once, I stood coveted, and loved.
Now, shunned, murderous, and calm.
And as I slip deeper and deeper into this smog,
that *is* myself, and as such is closer to me than flesh to bone,
your laughs and cries in my mind do reiterate;
a reprise that parts shadows on my judgment no more.
Thus I have sold you for naught but a grain of sand;
such to me is your worth, and such, your grandeur.
Thus I will disapprove of your flocking no more,
for such is expected of the ocean’s sand.
I shall henceforth regard you as you have regarded intellect before me,
and I shall, in my new psyche, dismiss you as much.
And you, in return, shall remember me as the leaf in autumn;
a speck of hope, that was ever bound to fall.
Behind the scenes:

Naif Al-Mohaya figuring out what he should be doing.

Khaled Hashem and I playing around trying to figure out the right exposure settings.

Me walking behind Mohammad Masri with a strobe in each hand.


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