Notes, Thoughts, and Observations
Photography presents a sovereign republic of transitory things.
The poetry of photography requires that Knowledge’s assurance be suspended. (With thanks to Nicolas Calas).
‘’Art always has time on its side’ - Julian Barnes, The Man in the Red Coat’, p. 1.
Art is perhaps at its best when it exposes its doubts.
When acting in good faith artists trade in meaning, the commodity of highest value, while capitalism’s commodified simulation of meaningful activity always falls short. Its failure translates into our despair.
The art of living in another's space.
Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.
On the platform of Hanger Lane station, holding my mother’s hand tighter when, at eye level, I caught sight of Peter Strausfeld’s woodcut poster for the Academy Cinema’s showing of Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf(1968), primed as I was for cinema’s potential for fascination and shock, having already glimpsed Buñuel’s eye-slitting shot for Un chien andalou(1929) while channel-hopping on our black and white TV set at home.
TV also provided historical foreboding and high adventure at this time. Television images of the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, as well as the epic saga of the Apollo missions and first moon landing are among my foundational image memories. The first of these play out as the silhouettes of my then teenage cousins from Long Island dancing hysterically in front of the flickering grey screen of my godparents’ wood-panelled TV as the Beatles performed `I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ on the Ed Sullivan Show, in 1964.
'Eventually everything will be happening at once: nothing behind a screen unless a screen happens to be in front' - John Cage, '45' for a Speaker' (1953).
‘On its own, the photograph is incapable of conveying the event to which it attests. The photograph is thus only a point of departure for the reading carried out by whoever stands before it, for who decides to look and to watch. It is the spectator who transforms what is photographed, what happens, into an event’ - Ariella Azoulay, The Civil Contract of Photography, p. 316.