Etching and aquatint with drypoint and roulette. Signed, dated and numbered in an edition of 50. Printed on white Somerset Satin paper by Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studio, Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Published by Blue Heron Press Inc., New York.
Plate: 91.4 x 61 cm (36 x 24 in) Sheet: 111.8 x 78.7 cm (44 x 31 in)
"Compromised is one of Walton Ford’s more enigmatic images. Two ibises tussle on the banks of the Nile – the glossy ibis and the sacred ibis. The ranges of both birds overlap in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea; the glossy ibis’ range extends to the Western Hemisphere. The quotation is taken from the opening chapter of Alexander Kinglake’s Eothen (London, 1844) in which he describes his journey within the Ottoman Empire at a time when Europe feared the plague.
A compromised person was “one who has been in contact with people or things supposed to be capable of conveying infection.” Mere contact required fourteen days in quarantine at the Lazaretto in Semlin, a city on the border between the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman territories” Those who evaded the quarantine laws could be tried by a military tribunal and shot. Kinglake described crossing this territorial border with “as much solemnity as if we had been departing this life.” The illusions to contemporary geo-political events are thought-provoking."