Wayne Martin Belger
Born February 11, 1964, in Pasadena, California, to two very understanding middle class Catholic parents, I remember the days when mass was done in Latin. Magic language, magic practices, and magic altars with their own ritualistic traditions are intriguing at 5 years old. Not knowing Latin, I relied more on visuals to receive the communication. The priest was using beautiful sacred tools and potions that were subject-created to bring me into communion with the subject. As the priest has made his tools of gold and silver, and Blood and Body, to be in direct relationship with the subject, Jesus, I create my tools of aluminum and titanium, and blood and body, to be in direct relationship with the subjects they are created for.
The tools I create and work with are pinhole cameras. With pinhole photography, the same air that touches my subject can pass through the pinhole and touch the photo emulsion on the film. There’s no barrier between the two. There are no lenses changing and manipulating light. There are no chips converting light to binary code. With pinhole what you get is an un-manipulated true representation of a segment of light and time, a pure reflection of what is at that moment. With some exposure times getting close to 2 hours, it’s an un-segmented movie from a movie camera with only one frame.
The creation of a camera comes from my desire to relate to a subject. When I choose a subject, I spend time studying it. Then I start visualizing how I would like a photo of the subject to look. When that’s figured out, I start on the camera stage of the project by collecting parts, artifacts, and relics that relate to the subject. When I’ve gathered enough parts and a feel for the subject, I start the construction of the camera. I create the cameras from aluminum, titanium, copper, brass, bronze, steel, silver, gold, wood, acrylic, glass, horn, ivory, bone, human bone, human skulls, human organs, formaldehyde, HIV-positive blood, and relics all designed to be the sacred bridge of a communion offering between myself and the subject. All to witness and be a tool of the horrors of creation and the beauty of decay presented by the author—light and time.