Axe Me Biggie
Axe Me Biggie
24 × 18 in
1 in stock
The New York Public Library (NYPL)
Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG)
A portfolio set of 15 hand-printed on silver gelatin 18” by 24” paper prints from original Polaroid negatives. Limited edition of 15 portfolios.
Each photograph has been taken by the artist and copyrighted to the artist.
The portfolio is designed and handmade by the artist.
“First the big picture, and on March 13, 2006 – the day Stephen Dupont made the ninety-three photographs in this volume – the big picture in Kabul is more bombs, more drugs, and more poor. It’s an old story by now: the foreign promise unfulfilled, the failed reforms, a country immune to money, schools, and eight-part programs, always reverting to its savage nature. It doesn’t help that Stephen and I spent the better part of the last three weeks in a mental hospital. Whatever other effects that may have had, it turned this city into a sort of violent burlesque and in my mind’s eye I see, as undoubtedly he does too, a kaleidoscopic cascade of junkies, electroshock patients, and amputees.
This volume is not about the big picture. It’s about all the small ones, the ninety-three particular, like-no-one-elses you see here. As journalists we use individuals as emblems, symbols, small faces to make big judgments. But obviously, any single Afghan, any single story, is more ambiguous, more murky than that.
[…]“Axe Me Biggie” — a crude Anglo phonetic rendering of the Dari for “Mister, take my picture!” — is Stephen’s answer to the plea he’s heard all over town the previous three weeks. It seems to mean something in English, “axe” being just a more visceral and violent version of the camera verb “to shoot,” returning all its original aura of surrender. And because Stephen has that pulverizing Aussie-rules rugby body, “Axe Me Biggie” also seems a request addressed to him personally. Stephen is Biggie. And on this day Biggie finally answers them all, en masse, saying, “Yes, alright. I will axe you, shoot you, take your bloody picture. Have a seat!” — Jacques Menasche, New York, August 2006