You think you’re safe here

April 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

If I were content, I would not move. If I were reconciled, I would not have come back.

Instead, I find the lies offensive, baiting. I cannot believe them, the ones you make to yourself and to the people around you. I cannot shield myself with the same veil that you drag across your eyes as you shuttle your toddlers back and forth, making cheery small talk with people you would never let into your home.

How do you ignore the rotten core? The fakery, the leers, the forgetting pills and powders, the rape, the murder? How did you become a part of it?

All hidden away behind the waterfront property, the candy coloured town. What a great place to raise your kids – the collective moan.

I came back to find the place that formed me. I came back to touch the artifice again, the warm, crushing boredom, mindless wandering and suppressed violence in a place that looks right but feels so wrong. This place brought me to my knees and kept smiling as she did it, twisting, asphyxiating. My demons live here, camouflaged within the pastel landscapes. And when I return, I am the mad one. I am the one who points at nothing, shies away from imaginary things and speaks of a world that apparently died in our younger years. The white-veneered, red-gummed mouths tell me that I over-react, I should let go, I speak of a wound-like corruption where there is none.

I smile a mad smile and think I know better.

(You think you’re safe here)


The Public

April 7, 2011 § 3 Comments

I think that one of my greatest disappointments in the public consumption and interpretation of photographic imagery is the need for obvious cues… People seem to struggle against an instinctive response to imagery and feel the need to temper it with academic or approved jargony justifications about why they are engaged with a photograph.

If the expected response is not obvious, people get confused. And when confused in the face of “art”, people get nervous and subsequently insecure.

I would ask that people stop assessing their own opinions so much. If you do not intend to write a paper about it, or apply for a job as an art historian, I would ask that you feel your way through the photograph/s instead. Do not look around for consensus, try not to plumb the depths of all the standard imagery you’ve been fed via stock archives and just feel your way through. If you have questions, by all means ask. Sometimes if it feels good, it is. Simple. Sometimes your instinct will respond to an image that you will cerebrally reject – and it’s not because your mind isn’t capable of distinguishing good from bad, but that it merely hasn’t learnt the deconstructive vocabulary necessary to back up your instinctive response.

Are you moved? Are you compelled? Are you considering something that you’ve never really taken the time to consider before? Are you seeing something familiar in a completely different light? Are you seeing a nuance that you’ve always felt but never seen articulated before visually?

I am asked frequently, “what makes a good photograph?”

My answer is, “if you answer yes to any of the above.”

Most importantly, really look before you dismiss anything and if the obvious cue doesn’t leap out at you, look longer because often if you find what is hidden beneath your expectations, ¬†you will discover that it is well worth finding.

The Surgery

April 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

Metamorphosis | Oahu, Hawaii

At the furthermost reach of the sea
Where Atlantis sinks under the wake of the waves,
I have come to heal my life.

I knit together like a broken arm.
The salt fills in the crevices of bone.
The sea takes all fragments of my lives
& grinds them home.

I wake up in a waterbed with you,
The sea is singing & my skin
sings against your skin.
The waves are all around us & within.
We sleep stuck to each other’s salt.

I am healing in your arms.
I am learning to write without the loss of love.
I am growing deeper lungs here by the sea.
The waves are knives; they glitter & cut clean.

This is the sea’s surgery.
This is the cutting & the healing both.
This is where bright sunlight warms the bone,
& fog erases us, then makes us whole.

~ The Surgery of the Sea by Erica Jong

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