A Separate Real(i)ty is work in progress that began when I relocated to Joshua Tree, California. The work has evolved from a significant personal and artistic transition - making (color digital) photographic work for the first time about the Mojave desert after a long career of over three decades depicting (with film and silver prints) the urban and suburban places where I lived, and most importantly, seeking a life of simplicity with a deeper connection between Self and Nature.
The title makes reference to Carlos Castaneda’s 1971 book “A Separate Reality” (an influential book of my generation), and altered states of consciousness while the use of the parenthesis in the title brings attention to the experience of “I” – myself in relation to specific sites (realty) and the creation of ones own reality. The photographs represent my current reflections on time and place, nature and culture, and self and community, and our consumption of natural resources. It is my experience of this vast and beautiful yet complex, fragile and threatened eco-system. Of course, water (and lack of it) is a dominant subject in the photographs.
These images are from the areas in the California desert that I am currently researching, exploring and photographing. Salt mining near Amboy and the geothermal fields and power plants in the area of the Salton Sea are among the subjects.
- Sant Khalsa