Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Personal Narratives and Sequencing

Nov 28, 2018 - Alex Christopher Williams

The last photograph I am going to share is this photograph of my father. Made on my grandfather’s property far back in the uninhabited wilderness, it’s one of the two photographs I made with some sort of evidence that could lead me through history to see where I came from. My grandfather chose to return to this countryside property in his last years after spending most of his years in Oberlin, Ohio. Most notably, Oberlin was one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad for slaves fleeing the south. I often wondered if Oberlin being a safe haven for blacks was what initially brought my family to the city.


I think of this photograph showing more than just a man looking behind him but of my father looking back into history as I do. As it happens, the log he crosses the river on is broken behind him. The poetry here is short, personal, and mostly out of the frame. But pictures are activated differently depending on their sequence or the whether they’re shown alone. This is why the ultimate form of this work is in a book. My Leporello bound maquette is as delicate to hold as the issues I address in my work.


I hope that you have enjoyed the last couple of days as I have shared my thinkings on my process and photographs. Feel free to follow me on Instagram @alexxphoto and on my website at where you can view more of the work and documents of the book.