Silent Stages

Silent Stages

Photographs by Dreyfack Ken

Introduction by David A. Ross

Published by: Daylight Books

128 Pages, 10.25 x 9.25 in, 50 B&W photographs

  • Hardcover
  • 9781942084846
  • Published: June 2020


The Photographs in Silent Stages are platforms specifically built as settings for narratives; they are akin to theatrical stages or movie sets. At the same time, they are artifacts from various stages of my life, visual traces of the sedimentary layers that have quietly accumulated over time, each atop its predecessors. As stage or movie settings, these images aim to spark viewers’ imagination, to spur them to conjure up a story, a narrative laced with mystery and alienation. That’s why I make the lighting dramatic, why I shoot in black and white, why some elements may be too dark and/or fuzzy to see clearly. I generally start with the background, searching the streets for a suitably dramatic setting. Then I wait for something to happen, perhaps for players to enter or exit. Sometimes I arrive too late; the last player has exited. As artifacts from my own story, the images give voice and body to times, experiences and feelings I hardly knew subsisted within me. It was only years after the project was undertaken that I began to understand how the choices I make – of subjects, settings, lighting, composition – reflect the particularities of my life and sensibility. In this sense, these images are relics from a personal archeological dig, a visual memoir of sorts -- an unsurprising undertaking perhaps for a septuagenarian. All of the images were shot over the past five years, either in or around New York or Paris. This reflects the dual nature of my life and culture, split between my native home and my adopted one. I have spent half of my adult life in France and identify as both French and American. My objective is not to highlight the Franco-American split but rather to demonstrate the parallels and how they compose into a single identity.