On vision

November 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

I.

If photography is used as a tool to make real a subconscious world, both materially and experientially, then the actors chosen are also living characters within one’s personal netherworld. And in the psychology of dreams where every such actor is a manifest of one’s secret self, so are the actors chosen for the lens.

We speak of the real search of the mind’s eye, where vision begins to be crystallized. Where one’s vision leads the way and the camera and the self have no choice but to follow and serve.

And then, when found, the image is formed, materialized into it’s true incarnation, replete with frame, composition, length, breadth, depth, metaphor, code, symbols and significance.

II.

From the beginning, the true discovery of photography was the revelation that lay hidden within a scene that is not revealed by the eye’s gaze. Historically in the most minute details of great structures and the steps of a horse at a full gallop.

III.

Obsession. An event that becomes a pivotal point in one’s nature. So pivotal in fact, that the rest of one’s life is spent in recreation of some form of that very same event. The worrying of a wound yet unhealed.

Photography is to be obsessed. It is to continually prod, stroke, puncture, cajole the same sensitive spot to the point of ultimate culmination or dissatisfaction.

It is the working of the subconscious, the realm beneath the rationale that precedes deconstruction and understanding. It is through following this impulse that we find our answers and the quest comes to an end.

IV.

I feel frozen in grief. Like time has stopped still and my heart remains in the same state of juvenile mourning that it entered when I was 12. I am that child. I nurse and try to run away from the same blistering sadness. I am the same as I ever was.

“My whole nature was so penetrated by the grief and humiliation, that even now, famous and caressed and happy, I… wander desolate back to that time in my life.” ~ Charles Dickens

V.

Muse. I write words and hurl them into the public maw, hoping you will find them. You, with your own life, with your own friends, your own lovers. And I am left free to my own devices, my giant imagination. So I write, so I photograph, transcendent fire arrows in the dark.

You know this would never work if you were actually with me. I wouldn’t have to make these messages, wrapped in metaphorical code, cased in glass and flung to the waves. I’d just whisper to you and perhaps even then, you’d never truly know the continent of my heart. We would be held apart by the same insurmountable alps that other intimate couples discover in the journey towards each other.

It is within those messages that is written as plain as such humanity can be plain. What I fear. What I love. What obsessive winds buffet me from shore to seemingly random shore.

Muse. All this for you.

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Rookie error

May 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Melbourne, en route to Rome.

Cold morning light, the beleaguered mid-Fall sun sliding its reluctant way into partial view. I watch my mother put on a brave face, hand raised (fingers splayed), after a sleepless night on the eve of yet another departure. I touch my fingers to the glass as the car pulls away from her, half conscious of the parody we make – her in the tightly wrapped bathrobe, me and my over stuffed bags.

Heart strings thrumming as I feel that strange regret. The one where the scene laid out before me loses its line of sight and I am left helplessly committing the heaviness, the poignancy to memory, empty-handed.

Cameras in the trunk.

Summer’s Score

February 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

by Summer’s score, I
levelled the ground with a roar
beat upon my chest and tore
rapaciously across the feathered floor
of field, forest, marshland, moor

With a burst and a battle cry, I’m plunging in the sea, flinging my meagre self through the foam, sweeping currents dragging at my feet. I’m hunting down spider webs through the woods, backlit and silver, crowned by her eight legged queen, casting fishing nets by the river with my dad and his deep, brown hands gently untangling and setting free the ones unfit for food, sprinting after butterflies in their erratic flight to find the perfect cradle in the perfect bloom.

A child of salt water and the summer, where I grew wild and barefoot.

Gold Coast | Australia

Cold streak south

January 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

(In absence of a digital camera, I write. A record in real time.)

0930hrs train departure from Milan  -> Florence

Branches like capillaries whipping past floating, rooted in a mist shrouded landscape. Italy in the winter. Starlings aflight, broken farmhouses, wood fire smoke. Every so often a black out. Tunnels like the blinking of an eye.

Transitions.

Then suddenly, pale sun on my face and a string of silhouettes, cypress it looks like, dotting the monochrome sweep.

All this to a synchrony of sound.

Faunts. (Explain)

everything that I’ve done
everything that I’ve tried
has led me on this long road
until we all collide

Earbuds wedged in so the movement of the signora seated opposite me, with her coiffed hair and folders full of ledgers are nothing but a mime. I leave her to the negotiation of her numbers and return to naming the solitary trees – the ones that explode voluptuously outwards in seeming defiance of the neat rows their cypress brothers make in their long, skinny reach for the sky.

Fever Ray is next. (If I had a heart)

this will never end
’cause I want more
more, give me more
give me more

I open my book and read,

“He has a repertoire of answers. Sometimes he pictures her drifting down towards the mundane rooftops in a giant balloon made of turquoise and emerald-green silks, or arriving on the back of a golden bird like the ones on Chinese teacups. On other days, darker ones like this Thursday – Thursday, he knows, was a sinister day in her calendar – she winds her way through a long underground tunnel encrusted with blood-red jewels and with arcane inscriptions that glitter in the light of torches. For years she walks, her garments – garments, not clothes – trailing, her eyes fixed and hypnotic, for she is one of those cursed with an unending life.” (Margaret Atwood, Wilderness Tips)

Punctuated by a city. Bologna. Rust-red brick in a glistening coat of graffiti tags. No messages, just signatures – elaborate, authority defying stamps of “I Was Here”. Parking lots and old women in furs preceded by the ubiquitous shopping cart – a simple reminder that we’re all heading to the same place… death by super market/mercato/march√©.

A few minutes later and we are out of the anxiety of the city – that concrete train of inevitability with no stops and no emergency lever.

I scroll artists on my iPod, searching for the right soundtrack for this mood, this cold streak south.

Editors, Doves, The Cure, Band of Horses…

Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a hipster….

I settle for Auf der Maur. (Lightning is my girl)

Gonna let the lightning
Tuck me into my bed
Gonna let that man
Let him into my head
I’ll see you in my dreams
Electrified and cherry red

We don’t scream and growl half as much as we should as adults. We got it beaten out of us young. “Shhh… don’t cause a scene. People are staring…” they said, a plea for civility.

My mother taps my knee with her foot and touches her watch.

We’re here.

Firenze.

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