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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Spook Light. It's Spooky but is it Real?

I love the idea of the Spook Light. It's a great name for a light that mysteriously appears '...on a remote road deep in the Ozark Hills."

Spook Light Chronicles vol. 1 - the road and the light is an artist's book by Antone Dolezal and Lara Shipley that examines the strange phenomenon of the Spook Light. 

The book is a mix of found, appropriated and real-life-we-photographed-this pictures. These are mixed with text that takes us somewhere into the hearts and minds of Spook Light Country. Here's the place. They have an old map and that makes it Real! And because it's real, it's even scarier.

And Spook Light Country is a scary place; it's '...an insular community living in the heart of the Bible Belt where the struggle between heaven and hell factors into everyday conversation.'

They factor into the book, because for Dolezal and Shipley "...the Spook Light has come to represent for the people we meet a desire for redemption and the fear of slipping into darkness." The  Spook Light "...provides a reprieve from ordinary life."

So Dolezal and Shipley are cranking it up, and with a name like The Spook Light, what's not to crank. The first question on my lips is "Is it real?" I really want to know this and like to believe that it is real. And Dolezal and Shipley pointing me in that direction with pictures like the one below. That has to be real.

One picture titled the boys that scared me, shows a young man standing bare-chested in the roadway.He has got two star tatoos on his chest and his hands are bunched into fists. He has a kind of smile on his face, but it's not a very nice smile and the man in the background has a near empty bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand. There is tension in the air.

The caption reads:

I was kind of thinking what if the spook light were to come right here and collide with me and take my soul with it. And you guys would just have to leave me here, because I'd be a soulless man, just wandering down the road. 

There are more references to lost souls, the afterlife and it adds to the threat. The Spook Light is not benign. This is a book for suggestible people by, I'm hoping, suggestible artists. I know that if I was on the Devil's Promenade, more than a little bit of me would believe. No, let's be honest. All of me would believe. I'd be petrified with all that spookiness going on.

The found photographs build on this suggestibility and really make me believe. If it's old it must be true. The contemporary pictures of flashes of light add to this sense of threat while the lit landscapes add an alien element to the mental picture.

There are two more volumes to come in the series (the first is sold out). Hopefully by the end, I'll have the answer to my question. Is it Real?

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