Emily Rachel Graham is a British artist
I had the lovely experience sitting down and chatting with Emily about her exceptional new book, The Blindest Man. The book is a mercurial study of human desire and belief. It is loosely based on a French treasure hunt called the Chouette d’Or. The hunt is loosely based on a story in which the main protagonist Max Valentin allegedly buried a golden eagle in a remote part of the French countryside, and to this day, it has never been found. The annual search sees a select amount of French and international enthusiasts head to hills to entertain their suspicions about where the eagle may be buried looking for fortune, but in the process, find a story that fulfills a very human ambition to have a quest and a puzzle to solve. I have maintained that humans are problem-solving creatures who need mysteries to fill in the gaps of their full potential in life. Without these quizzical manifestations, we often lose sight of our potential for fulfillment. We often emphasize God and other spiritual questions to help fill that gap. Still, in the case of the Chouette d’Or, the quest is dominated by a mix of ciphers, maps, and an esoteric backstory which makes the quest to find the eagle all that more appealing from the perspective of the enthusiast.
Sitting with Emily, we spoke about the process of making the work and the convenience that such stories provide people in their quest to solve ambitious life goals. Throughout the session, Emily and I spoke about The Blindest Man and her photography background. It was a fantastic time. Please tune in.