The Spirit and the Flesh | Photographs by Debbie Flemming Caffery
The Spirit and the Flesh
Photographs by Debbie Flemming Caffery. Texts by Carrie Springer and Luis Alberto Urrea. Radius Books, Santa Fe, NM, 2009. 12x11", 96 pages, 64 duotone illustrations.
Signed by the artist.
2014 Filter Photo Festival workshop instructor, Debbie Fleming Caffrey, has produced this stunning and sultry body of work from her time in a northeastern Mexican town.
Beginning in the mid-1990s, Louisiana-born photographer Debbie Fleming Caffery lived and worked on the grounds of the Catholic church in a small village in northeastern Mexico using a tortilla shack as her studio. In addition to the religious life of the town, she turned her lens on the nearby cantina that occasionally served as a brothel. The Spirit and the Flesh explores the themes of grace, redemption, sin and forgiveness that Caffery encountered in this community--of which she has said, "I felt incredibly comfortable in a culture rich in celebrations of religious feasts, with strong, independent, highly emotional people, much like the people I grew up with in southwest Louisiana. The brothel brought new elements into my work: secrets, sensual needs, desire and, often, unexpected love."