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Metaphysics by Kate Joyce Metaphysics by Kate Joyce Metaphysics by Kate Joyce Metaphysics by Kate Joyce

Metaphysics by Kate Joyce




Hardcover, 102 pages
7 in x 9.5 in | 17.78 cm x 24.13 cm
35 color photographs
Limited to 300 copies
Includes essay by writer and culture critic Lawrence Weschler

Metaphysics is a book and a series of color photographs made on board airplanes. There is an unreasonableness in our human desire for flight. We are itinerant "featherless bipeds" cocooned in reassuring cabin interiors supported by the mechanics of aerodynamics. 

Here is photographer Kate Joyce on the idea behind Metaphysics: "In the beginning I photographed the aerial view out the window—a cold, detached, and mesmerizing blueprint. Overtime I discovered a more intimate view within the aircraft: bodies, sunlight, hands, and drapery. Human organization closer to a chrysalis than the architecture of flight. And in this confinement that feels close to both birth and death, there is incredible light. I spent seven years, between 2012 and 2019, on over 50 airplanes coveting the window seat, looking for a variety of illuminated bodies—inhabiting the strange limbo of airports and loneliness of airplanes. I found the window seat to be its own destination and something like a studio of constraints." 

Metaphysics is the companion monograph for a SITE Santa Fe exhibition featuring Joyce's photographs. Created between 2012 and 2019, during a period when the photographer was regularly commuting by air, this series of photographs highlights the way static images can capture the passage of time, revealing fragments of its movement through light and space.


Kate Joyce (b. 1979) is a photographer working in typologies and relationships between pictures and literature. For the past 25 years, she has used the visual image to explore themes of intimacy and the elemental qualities of light, texture, and color. Her work focuses on the commonplace and highlights the complex beauty of the mundane through a wide range of subjects from everyday life.