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Neumann and Boney

Series of silver gelatin photographic prints. Cir. 2006

I recently found this series of photographs tucked away on my computer’s hard drive. The photographs are 8x10 silver gelatin prints from 35mm black and white film. They were taken in the autumn of 2006 at Neumann’s studio. We were messing around setting up props and eating pizza when I took this series.
The pictures can have many different contexts around life and death as well as being alive and being dead. The story that goes along with the images tells a tale of facing fears.  When those fears are faced, they are not as drastic as we build them up in our minds. The series is also in the context of relationships and how those relationships are dead and or dying.
It’s been several years since I’ve seen Neumann. Sometimes I think he was a figment of my imagination. Other times when I tell other people about Neumann, he almost sounds like an imaginary friend that won’t return my phone calls or messages who I still miss every day.  
Neumann and Boney 1

Neumann and Boney, 1 of 3

This was a balmy autumn day when Neumann was sitting on a park bench enjoying a slice pizza when Boney appeared out of thin air. Boney was formally a lady and now bones. Neumann looked Boney up and down wondering what exactly she was doing sitting on this park bench.
“Who the devil might you be and why are you here?” Neumann asked. Boney responded, “I am Boney. I am here to remind you of many different things, but only one thing that is true.”
“What is the only thing that you represent that is true?” Neumann asked in response. Boney answered, “Life. How is your life weighed against living?”

Neumann and Boney 2

Neumann and Boney, 2 of 3

Neumann whipped his head back and laughed. “Ha, ha, ha. Oh Boney. You are a funny lady. You do not have any bearing on my life. You cannot gauge who I am or how I live”
Boney responded, “That is not true. You allow me to gauge both who you are and how you live. You remember me at first? I was nice and sweet and innocent. You would try keeping me out of your mind, but there was always a reminder and I am still here. You try to get away, but you could not get away. Then you allowed me to come back. I tried to push you away and you did not go. I tried to give you a way out and you would not take it. Now, I have you and you cannot escape. I will continue to remind you of the death you are living within your life. There is no one who will be able to release you or save you from what I represent. The fear of being without me is greater than the fear of being with me.”

Neumann and Boney 3

Neumann and Boney, 3 of 3

This angered Neumann. He abruptly stood to his feet and pointed at Boney saying, “Dam you Boney! I cannot believe I was lured into your trap.“ Neumann’s finger limped as he continued to point at Boney, “No, no, no. You will not win. I will save myself. You will continue no longer to have any bearing on my life.” Neumann walked away. Not with pain and agony that he thought would be, but with a whimper.


Eric D Jonke
Doylestown, Ohio 44230