21 June 2006

Photographing a Verb

God is a Verb
God is no thing. God is no thing – nothing in the process of becoming everything. You can discern God over time, in the flow, in the action, in the process of something becoming something else. The primary biblical divine name YHVH should be translated as “Is-Was-Will Be.” It is a verb associated with the attribute of inner beauty (tiferet). When beauty hidden in the mundane suddenly jumps out at you, catch the action in a series of photographs of Is-Was-Will Be. Don’t snap a still-life, nature morte (dead life in French), photograph living processes like comic strip or storyboard sequences.

Photographing KUZU
KUZU is YHVH in motion. The biblical passage beginning with “Hear, O Israel, YHVH is our God, YHVH is One,” is written by a scribe on small parchment scrolls affixed to doorposts in Jewish homes. These mini-Torahs called mezuzot, a word derived from the root zaz, which means to move. Each scroll is rolled up with the biblical text on the inside. On the outside of the scroll at the place on the reverse side of where YHVH is written, the scribe writes KUZU. KUZU moves YHVH one letter forward. It is spelled with each of the letters that follow YHVH in the Hebrew alphabet. It is if we were to write GOD as HPE, H being the letter following G, P the letter following O, and E the letter following D. In addition to moving each of the letters in YHVH forward, KUZU is written upside-down to invite us to see God as a dynamic process from multiple viewpoints. Photograph KUZU.