Photographs by Kate Joyce (1998-1999 C.E.)
Translation by Andrew Berns (2020 C.E.)
Excerpts from The Latin Library Metamorphoses by Ovid (c 8 C.E.)
Designed by Kate Joyce
Published by Kate Joyce/Special Problems Press
7.44 x 9.69 in.
18.9 x 24.61 cm.
250 b&w photographs
Kate Joyce’s Metamorphoses transforms Ovid’s collection of myths from the ancient world, written toward the end of his life nearly two thousand years ago, into a vision of contemporary life and of Joyce’s own at its creative beginning.
Originally I made the photographs in Chile while traveling alone as a teenager. Twenty-years later I re-imagined the photographs through the narrative lens of myth.
The book contains photographs of lovers, bathers, a conman, a wedding, a baptism, hitchhiking and cemeteries. It spans the country from Santiago to Tierra del Fuego.
Looking back, these places, people and events, while taken from Joyce’s own experience, have come to embody near universal figures from myth—and now we see in them the patterns that are universally described as the fate of Apollo & Daphne, Narcissus & Echo, and Orpheus & Eurydice.
Metamorphoses contains over 250 black & white photographs organized by 29 myths from Ovid’s 1st century narrative poem.
This edition is in English and Latin.
Kate Joyce distilled the myths to an essence. She discovered lines of poetry and photographs that resonated (out of the 1,500 black and white negatives from her travels in Chile and the 11,995 lines, 15 books and over 250 myths from Ovid).
She then asked her friend Andrew Berns to make an English translation of those lines.
Alongside Berns’ English translation are excerpts of Ovid’s poem in Latin, a design element and reminder of time.
About the Author
Kate Joyce is a photographer working in typologies, the relationship between pictures and literature, and collaboration. She is interested in processes of transformation, metaphysics, and analogy-making. She is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Other books include Big Ears Knoxville (Hat and Beard Press, 2019).
About the Translator
Andrew Berns is Associate Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. He teaches and writes about the intersection of the textual and natural worlds, particularly in the context of Jewish-Christian relations in the medieval and early modern Mediterranean. After learning that Berns was a long-time lover of Latin poetry, Kate Joyce proposed this unique collaboration in translation.
All images courtesy Kate Joyce. All rights reserved.