Arcana

Merritt_The DeckNovember 2017

Cards are now available as a printed deck. Dimensions: 4 1/4 x 5 1/2; 16 pt stock – writable back – suitable for use as postcards Price: $25; kmerritt1@gmail.com to order.

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Retail vendor locations:

Quench (Belfast, ME) – 33 Main Street - http://quenchmaine.com
ENGINE (Biddeford, ME) – Handmade on Main – 128 Main https://feedtheengine.org
Print: A Bookstore (Portland, ME) – 273 Congress St. http://www.printbookstore.com
Arcana (Portland, ME) – 81 Market St. https://arcanamaine.com
Waterfall Arts (Belfast, ME) – Handmade 2017 http://waterfallarts.org/handmade/

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From 2013 – 2016 I took a break from engineering and ran a sex shop. What that meant was that for 3 years I had the honor and the privilege of helping people navigate sex and pleasure and agency and gender and identity and orientation and experimentation and access and confession and discomfort and figuring out what it means for each of us to find our way with – or against – this current that we call ‘culture.’

Congress Street, Free Street, Middle Street, Exchange Street. Back and forth. Walking. Watching. Thinking.

I’m also a street photographer, which means that one way I process what I’m thinking is with my camera. So, along with walking, watching and thinking, I was also shooting film.

A set of circumstances in the few years before this period introduced me to the Tarot and got me thinking about the idea of archetypes and where they fit into this flow of culture too. And the question of whether we explain ourselves to ourselves from the inside out or from the outside in. And so walking back and forth to work and thinking about all this, I started shooting the deck.

Two rules –

Congress Street, Free Street, Middle Street, Exchange Street.

The image and its reverse in the same frame. Reflections count.

What do we take in through our psyche, with or without our conscious consent, about how we think about who we are?

22 images here – the Major Arcana. The archetypes of our cultural lives. And maybe you’re thinking the same thing I am – 22 archetypes. Only 22 archetypes. The Hindu pantheon, just as example, has hundreds of gods, each a manifestation of some pouring spark of the divine that is the human spirit. And here we’ve somehow allowed the European canon to reduce that shower to 22 incarnations or manifestations or labelled categories of understanding and experience. 22. As the mathematicians would say – that’s one hell of a step function. I think about that too.

20141027214004_00005

                 I: The Magician

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All images here (and throughout this website) are scanned silver gelatin prints. My kit: Mamiya c220 camera. Luna-Pro F light meter. Tri-X 120 Kodak film. Doc Martens (short or tall, depending on season). Ilford Multigrade Glossy paper. And the darkroom.

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KarenMerritt_II_GelatinSilver_16x16

                II: High Priestess

tiarax

              III: The Empress

IsWhatIs001

               IV: The Emperor

KarenMerritt3

           V: The Hierophant

card4

                VI: The Lovers

ganapati

               VII: The Chariot

daisy003

                 VIII: Strength

flame002

               IX: The Hermit

unnamed

            X: Wheel of Fortune

around

                         XI: Justice

Bokeh

          XII: The Hanged Man

Death

                    XIII: Death

ColdSweat001

             XIV: Temperance

InnerWorlds

                XV: The Devil

tower001

               XVI: The Tower

strings

                     XVII: The Star

Moon

                  XVIII: The Moon

dresses001

                XIX: The Sun

judgment

              XX: Judgement

arclight

            XXI: The World

 And, of course, the Series all begins with the number that isn’t a number:

TheFool

                  0: The Fool

 

 

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