Sometimes the experience of a photograph suggests things to me. At times, they are visual similarities; the top of this image is an eye looking at stacks and stacks of dusty bottles. Other times, the visual clues mesh with memories – like when the smell of a wine or a place transports the awareness to the last time that smell arose. I can still smell the fake-butter infused, musty interior of a theater in Southern Idaho where I worked as a teenager. But this image meshes with literary associations: “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.” Associations like this draw me into a photograph – associations from my own experience – triggering introspective reactions – in this case, Nietzsche’s admonition to be careful what you resist as you may become that thing. The beauty, like wine in these bottles, is that each of us brings associations offering deeper beauty.
This cavern is 80 meters below the surface in Champagne. Large Champagne houses keep between 28 and 50 kilometers of these for the aging and production of iconic sparkling wine – in this case, Dom Perignon.