I have always been reluctant to photograph people. It usually feels as uncomfortable for me as it does for those who try to be natural in a peculiarly artificial moment.
It was in Atlanta, the spring of 1969, that I took the first photograph of Judith sleeping. We had just finished our first picnic and she had fallen asleep. That moment was to be the beginning of a series that would last to this day. At the time I was not aware of the symbolic implications of sleep as a subject matter. I did not think of the Romantic Movement and its appreciation of sleep as the door to the enchantments of dreaming. Nor did I consider the popular correlation of sleep with death. I see sleep as the flash of authenticity, a reality only the dreamer can live, a paradoxical moment of being and not being. In this photographic record of Judith sleeping I see the conditions of transparency and opacity inherent in all photography.
Although I was aware of the magic surrounding the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, and Judith was beautiful and sleeping, it was not this fact that prompted me to take that first picture in this series. Rather, it was the first time that I was conscious of my wanting to photograph more than a surface.
Perhaps I was first drawn to make photographs of Judith sleeping because I saw in her the happy combination of presence and absence, a silence and tranquility that contrasted with my own sleep, frequently disturbed by nightmares.
If the Sleeping Beauty was awakened by her prince´s kiss, Judith sometimes was awakened by the intrusive noise of the camera´s click.