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Thursday, September 24, 2009

reflection on photography

with the moon on their wings
It’s true that we are never physically able to see with our own eyes that “neat slice of time,” that isolated 100th of a second, for the world is constantly in motion for us. Who hasn’t found themselves swallowed in a moment wishing that just this once, time would stop, freeze, stand still like the undisturbed water of a lake in autumn. We want it to stand still because we want to hold onto it; we want it in our hands so we can really look at it, feel it, caress it, live inside it forever. In that sense, a photograph fulfills this fantasy better than anything that’s been invented thus far. A fraction of time neatly preserved and *gasp!* we can hold it in our hands and gaze for hours, if we so wish.

To me, photography is so much more than just that. It is an extension of reality, a projection of the emotion and breath and life of everything that surrounds us.
While I see the “ugly” insensitive side of photography that Sontag points to, I feel that the ways in which I use photography and choose to look at photographs is very different. It isn’t violent or exploitive or obsessive compulsive, but more of the sentimental “twilight” art that she also mentions…an art that is indeed “implicitly magical.”

It’s true that we experience a sensory overload of visual stimulus, more so now than ever before. Living in such environments, we begin just to see, and not to look. We become passive ! We see the beautiful girls and the exotic two-dimensional scenes before we see the birds that fly overhead, the tree that whispers to its neighbor, the raindrop that dances feverishly in the accumulating puddle across from the bakery where the keeper’s daughter wears a striped pink and orange sweater in the middle of summer. And even when we see these, we do not pause longer to look. Holding the camera reminds me to slow down, to look and to appreciate, to imagine and to feel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to breathe.

THE ULTIMATE WISDOM OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGE IS TO SAY:
“THERE IS THE SURFACE. NOW THINK—OR RATHER FEEL—WHAT IS BEYOND IT”

whispers
p.s. sono un albero.
(i * a m * a * t r e e)

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