Photographer, Gerald Jenkins, has long identified as an outsider, and his vast oeuvre spanning nearly four decades reflects his natural affiliation with others who sit similarly on the outskirts. He has recently released his new title, It’s After The End Of The World, a collaborative work with The Sun Ra Arkestra, Norman Douglas and Darius James to name a few. Gerald spoke with The Fountain about the book, and what emboldens him with his work.
TF: You have published a book of a selection of your photos over the years, you must be thrilled?
Yes of course..it’s been a very long journey-you could say ten years of internal travel.
TF: What inspired you to create this picture novel?
I worked in the fashion industry until the dawn of the internet changed its structure and I simply walked away from it, but it’s a visual language I still practice in my own way. I have always self commissioned becoming very involved in Indigenous Australian culture and am forever inspired by their understanding of the metaphysical world as opposed to western cultures desire for individuality. There is also my work with musicians and so the challenge was to create a work drawing on the understanding I had of these subjects and fusing them together with a bit of Marshall McLuhan’s influence reverberating in my approach.
TF: And it’s a collaborative work to some degree, creating something spiritual with the likes of Sun Ra Arkestra, how was the process?
The Indigenous Australian work has not been completed but it’s still permeating within me. Sun Ra more validly than anyone else performs classical contemporary Black Music of ancient Black Tradition within the confines of capitalism. Capitalism meaning his approach to his work is expansive. I have been very lucky to have access to his poetry and philosophy for reproduction in the book, but there are many other collaborators in the book/ Writers whom were commissioned being Darius James, Jake-Ann Jones, KAINTHEPOET, Norman Douglas, Michael Gonzales, Carl Martin, and Little Annie Bandez. Most importantly the woman photographed for the work being the critical collaborators.
TF: And how was it to collaborated with such artists as Sun Ra?
There will be a book of my work with The Sun Ra Arkestra. I first met them in 2003 and undertook my project with them at exactly the same time as this book I am concluding (2009). My work with the Arkestra is a study of the same subject material as this book. Obviously from a masculine perspective and a legacy, which reaches back to 1946 in Chicago when Alton Abraham and Sun Ra found solace from the confines of society in Outer Space. It was and continues to be a joy to work with The Sun Ra Arkestra.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond this book, what more can we look forward to?
Firstly I intend to develop the work in the book into other mediums-immersive installations for example. After that I have been working on several other book titles all shot in unison and all informing each other. There are five other books to follow and hopefully I can now start to turn them around and release one every two years.
It’s After The End Of The World is available for pre-order here.