Proof of Interest
For many years now I have seen dispossessed chairs hanging out wherever chance has tossed them, like old souls left on their own after a long and faithful service. Like us they have backs and arms and legs and feet and definitely bottoms, some even have a head of sorts. All of which, in some way, may make them so compelling. I have also photographed chairs within more noble or comfortable circumstances; thrones, Cardinal’s chairs, cushy corporate ones, and in nearly every imaginable location.
In fact, during my time working inside Ground Zero, one of the most surprising first sights was the unbelievable numbers of chairs that had been thrown from the buildings and remained intact upon landing! These chairs became the bleachers from which the exhausted rescue and recovery workers watched the amazing daily drama while taking their breaks. Every chair you might conceive of, from the most elegant to the most humble, found its way back to being useful once again.
How did I begin to notice ‘chairs’ as a subject? If I remember correctly it was while working on the light box (remember the light box?) when one day, while I was editing for something else, I noticed some funny chair pictures and tossed them to the top of the box, and then as others appeared I found myself becoming aware that this was a theme that I had not really known I was interested in. But the proof of interest was in the pictures that were appearing. And so I began looking out for them while editing and being more aware of them while out on the street.
I believe that it’s important to be open to the suggestive impulses that emerge, either from the world, or out of the work, for these clues have in them the clearest indication of our natural, instinctive responses, our identity even, and also some sense of the consciousness we may be overlooking when we act in more premeditated ways.