Published by Radius Books/New Orleans Museum of Art. Text by Russell Lord, Brian Piper.
Examining the deep emotional relationship between people and place, Louisiana-based photographer Debbie Fleming Caffery (born 1948) is recognized as a leading chronicler of the American South. Her shadowy, blurred, black-and-white images thoughtfully reveal shared human experience—childhood, spirituality, labor—and ultimately bring darkness to light. Debbie Fleming Caffery: Come to Light immortalizes in book form the artist’s first major career retrospective presented at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The publication is her most comprehensive to date, showcasing projects produced in the American South and West, as well as in France and Mexico, and is the first to feature all series from across the course of her career.
Published by Radius Books. Text by Carrie Springer. Foreword and poem by Luis Alberto Urrea.
Beginning in the mid-1990s, Louisiana-born photographer Debbie Fleming Caffery lived and worked on the grounds of the Catholic church in a small village in northeastern Mexico using a tortilla shack as her studio. In addition to the religious life of the town, she turned her lens on the nearby cantina that occasionally served as a brothel. The Spirit and the Flesh explores the themes of grace, redemption, sin and forgiveness that Caffery encountered in this community--of which she has said, "I felt incredibly comfortable in a culture rich in celebrations of religious feasts, with strong, independent, highly emotional people, much like the people I grew up with in southwest Louisiana. The brothel brought new elements into my work: secrets, sensual needs, desire and, often, unexpected love." Debbie Fleming Caffery has been making photographs of the people and culture of her native Louisiana for more than 30 years; this is her fourth book.
"Debbie Fleming Caffery’s (born 1948) images can be seen as articles of faith. The relentless insistence of subject and symbol in these images is assuredly their greatest strength. This vigor results from a tension that can be both visual and emotional. In this marshy no-man’s-land between description and illusion, her photographs serve as an able guide to truths that are better sensed than seen." —John Lawrence "The subject matter of Debbie Fleming Caffery’s new work shifts from the mysterious and hard life of the Louisiana sugar culture to that of foreign imagery. The style of her photography remains the same. Light is never allowed to blind us to the darkness of human existence and its inexorable limitations. But neither is darkness allowed to swallow the bitter sweet moments of disclosure. She has found the spiritual, together with its enemies." —James R. Watson