Craig C. has been watching trains from the parking lot of The Old Mill since 1983. He confessed he watched trains obsessively, without missing a day for 11 years and 6 days. To Craig, trains symbolize the hands of a clock, dictating the passage of time. Over time the act of seeing transforms into a structural mechanism, meant to re-integrate thought and action. The ritual of seeing functions alongside the ritual of notation. Over time the notations are transmuted into analytic structure and organized chronologically. They become the direct physical object of Craig’s obsession with time.
Photographically, Ratzlaff employ a similar approach. Through systematic repetition he has constructed a ritualistic approach to making photographs of Craig watching trains. The process is routinized, disciplined, structured, and most similarly, obsessive. He act as a mechanized collector, building a cache of images that appear homogeneous in nature, but because of the concept of time, every image represents static content within a renewed moment.
Ratzlaff is originally from Denver and is currently pursuing an MFA at University of Nebraska–Lincoln.