Addict Out of the Dark and into the Light I wanted to get the message out that any addict could get clean; stop using drugs and find a new way to live. Most every one was enthusiastic. I asked them to share about the horrors of their life and how wonderful their lives are today. In the spirit of recovery each contributor exemplified this selfless effort of helping other addicts find and achieve recovery. Each participant responded because they wanted to help and be a part of the solution rather than the problem. They understood that what they were doing would help alleviate the pain and suffering of addicts and those close to addicts by being exposed to this work. My motive was to bring to light the love and truth about the feelings of addicts and the recovery revolution that is going on right now. Christopher Keeley
Keeleys photographs, which deal with the many facets of obsession, speak to the internal search many individuals undergo during the lifelong quest for meaning and self-awareness.
Capturing pain, longing, torment, despair, hope, and love within the faces and forms of his images, Keeley draws on his own inner obsessive quest for knowledge as inspiration.
His images are unsympathetic, and communicate the inner emotional trauma of the homeless, the addicted, and of the lonely, as well as pride and the strength of human bonding experienced by addicts in recovery. By revealing the essence of his subjects, the works magnify with often unsettling clarity the pain of discovery, joy of friendships born of pain, or turmoil of new journeys that resound within each person. Through these poignant images he challenges the viewer to look within ones own heart, to question, affirm, accept, or reject, leaving one with valuable insights into our own places in humanity. Kimberley Taylor
Chris Keeley is a friend of mine. I have always looked to Chris as having the inclination and courage to capture his unique perception of reality with the shutter of his camera. Somehow, he goes ahead and does it. In 1987 when this work of art was started, I heard of this book from the years it took Chris to put it together. In my own experience, I had an interest in encouraging and helping bring to light the love and truth about the feelings of addicts and the recovery revolution that is going on right now. There is a genuine movement in the underground culture of drug addiction towards health, recovery and spiritual growth. Chris went to each person participating in this work and asked if they would help. Each one responded because they wanted to help.
Initially, the photos in this book were to be exclusively nudes for the shock value and to set the reader in the intimate, touching frame of mind required to reach with the heart as well as the mind. Some of the participants balked at this and so allowances were made and Chris decided that even the form of having all subjects nude would just be another conformity.
There is no final answer to addiction. With time a human being learns how much of life is real and how much is supposition. Personal truth at the level of daily living is the way out of this labyrinth. A snapshot can contain unintended truth. This book is a collection of photographic snapshots, along with written snapshots are in the form of verbatim transcripts. The participants were taped at the same time the photos were taken. The resulting composition is a picture at odds with prevailing perspectives on addiction and towards addicts.
The darkness is the overlay of myth, fear and superstition that surround addicts and their disease. Addiction is the disease of lies hiding in darkness that allows the simple elements of need, deprivation and extremism to build and combine into seemingly insolvable obstacles. The truth is much simpler.
The dark is a place of fear in much of the world. It symbolizes the u"