Photography "Emergency" by Hunter Madsen


Bauldelaire wrote of having been "brushed by the wind of the wing of madness." Some memories make me likewise shudder.  

This image evolved from a benign photograph of two plastic garden chairs curiously wrapped for the winter, in a tiny Himalayan village. Only after I snapped the shot did I take much note of the axe laid across the chairs, and the many rust stains on the wrapping. While finishing the image, a long-suppressed memory from my youth, over half a century ago, surfaced vividly in my mind, involving the unfathomably gruesome midnight axe murder of a schoolmate of mine, along with her parents, while they were asleep in their beds, by her disturbed brother, who then attempted to disguise his rampage by setting their home, and the bodies, ablaze. I found myself shifting the rust tones in this image, to create "Emergency."  
All families lie together, though some are burned alive,
The others try to feel
For them. Some can, it is often said.

      - James Dickey, The Firebombing (1965)  

TITLE - "Emergency (in Memory of A. L.)"
WHERE - Dingboche, Nepal (2019)