The God Machine



Dutch photographer Wouter le Duc (b.1989) explores his fascination with society through his work. He unfolds stories of both fiction and non-fiction with a great curiosity in eccentric people on the periphery of society. Where do they come from, how are they fulfilling their lives and where will they go?

In his series The God Machine, le Duc recounts the tale of cult leader John Murray Spear. Convinced of being an instrument of god, Spear receives instructions from a group of prominent spirits (for example Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams) to build a machine that will represent God on earth and take away all inequality in the world. Together with his followers he builds this physical Messiah. Le Duc's imagery reveals fragments of this process in private quarters. Tones and perspectives that run through the series create the feeling of a quiet, strange intimacy.

With the ambition of creating a story that serves as a blueprint for other cults, Le Duc wants to focus on all its human aspects. What moves people to become part of a cult and what kind of support does this give them in life?