Image from the series “Be ye separate”

Toned silver gelatin print, 22 inches by 22 inches (framed)

MICHAEL DVORAK

Robbinsdale, MN
dvorakphotography.com

The title of my project “Be ye separate” is a partial quote from Corinthians: “Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 6:17, KJV), The Amish point to this Bible verse as a reason for isolating themselves from others. While they hold themselves separate, I hope this project will provide viewers with an intimate perspective of their lives, families, and the commonalities between us.

In a world consumed by technology, the Schwartzentruber Amish in South East Minnesota live as far removed from that reality as possible, though sometimes not as far as is expected. I am attracted to the simplicity of the Amish life, yet I am not so naïve to believe their life is simple.

Photographic art at its best can show us what is threatened – but also what endures. My work, and this project, illustrates what family means, what community means, to all people regardless of religion or lifestyle. These ideas endure, although many people may feel that this way of life is extinct.

I’m interested in the perceptions that I might have (or my viewer might have) of the people I meet and photograph. Using documentary photography and found portraiture, I look for ways to challenge the assumptions and stereotypes of our culture, my viewers, and myself.
I hope you enjoy this small window into another world. I am very honored to share it with you.