Foreword by Todd Hido
When I first came across Jill Beth Hannes’s image of the two blond women looking quite identical, interacting with one another in a way that is unspecified, it is one of those moments of photography that anyone would have been lucky to shepherd into the world. I very rarely care about what people have to say about their work, and judge their images solely on my impression of the photograph. Without any of the language or background the artist has to give. However, after choosing this work based on the fact that it looks fantastic, I am delighted to see that some of the themes that I was getting from Miss. Hannes work were actually what she was intending on sharing.
Apparently, Miss. Hannes made this work once she became sober and I bring this up because I love it when photographs do more than look good. I love it when they serve a purpose, in exploring or reflecting upon a point in the artists life where they may have been vulnerable. The feeling of isolation, confusion, and longing are things that I saw in this work the moment I looked at it. Those go along with a very important sentence that Miss Hannes states about this moment in her life, she says “It’s like life on pause for just a moment, before beginning anew.” In a curious way that makes each and every one of these images a purposeful creation. Not every image in the world that’s good has to be that way, however when you add that extra layer of meaning to it, it really seems to make them rise up.