S*AN D. HENRY-SMITH




Four portraits of Lucie March on a September day last summer in shifting sunlight. Just before noon, I believe. I imagine that these frames were made in a span of about 15 minutes, though it may have been more. Possibly less. Portraiture as a durational medium is tricky; it can last forever should you allow. I am tempted to dwell, always. We took turns taking pictures of each other on each other’s cameras. I think often of Lucie’s late grandmother’s compass necklace she wears in these; I was transfixed with it then already. I make sure our matching “NEW DOCUMENTS” tattoo is in sight for at least one frame. It’s photography that introduced us in the first place. A large cloud cast over us, made everything blue, then went away again. It had rained the night before—the evidence is on the fence. The grass wasn’t wet, but not exactly dry.

I was on my way out, and she had just gotten in. Me, relocating to the Netherlands; Lu, just back from France. One of the anchors of our relationship is our comings and goings, a commitment to meeting up in the middle. Looking at each other closely when we can. We have been making portraits of each other as long as we’ve known one another: that summer in 2014 catching eyes, wearing some version of the same clothes (something gay, liberal arts, New York City summer), until we soon after went out one night, making photographs around/at/after a Cakes da Killa performance. (Sadly, a lot of my negatives didn’t come out. I was borrowing a Hasselblad that night and couldn’t get my groove. Now, I’m obsessed with the rectangular, but I want to try square again.)

Before we part, Lucie reads to me. I make a recording, this time in audio. It was nearing a year since we’d seen each other last, and it wasn’t clear when we would see each other next, though I know now it wouldn’t have been too long. And we would make more photographs then, too.












S*an D. Henry-Smith is an artist and writer working primarily in poetry, photography, performance, and publishing. They are the author of WILD PEACH (Futurepoem, 2020), and the director of LUNAR NEW YEAR.

www.seanhenrysmith.com