I’ll be in Paris this week if anyone is nearby. Part 2 of Taking My Time, a mini retrospective of sorts, will open the evening of January 12, and I’ll be there to say hello.
A Fresh Start
All the celebrations are now over and reality makes its way back wherever we look, and looking is what we always return to to ground ourselves. Looking at our daily life, our family (just as crazy as everyone else) our politics, and politicians (what a ride we’re in for) our work, our street, or city, everything that’s right there in front of us. All of it fresh once again for thought and eye.
2017 has just begun. Make the most of what you have, and whatever it is that comes your way.
During the last six months of silence I’ve missed the daily contact with all of you, and the ‘stretch’ it required of myself and my thoughts about life and photography.
But, in a way, last year’s blog was preparation for the book I wanted to write for children about “seeing things”, both in photographs and in the world around them.
That book, published by Aperture; is called “Seeing Things,” and is just now being delivered to bookstores everywhere. I wanted you to know about it first. You might want to see how writing for you prepared me for finding a voice that was adjusted to the range of kid’s interests, but did not talk down to them.
You can see it here:
Once More Around The Sun
We have done it again! Another trip around the solar system on this wondrous planet of ours. And it was a year – speaking for myself, or course – full of momentary wonders, large and small, cheerful and sad, sunlit and shadowed, and basically filled with every kind of contrasting possibility, which is what life seems to offer us every single day.
I spent the morning here reviewing every photograph in the blog and was surprised at both the range and diversity of the images, and I could also see how many themes and sub themes there were, and how regularly they came into play. The truth is I have my limits, and even though I am trying to reach beyond what I know how to see, I still can’t get away from myself completely, not that I thought I could, or would even want to be completely other, but this year-long experiment was meant to shake the joints of this old mindset loose through the ordinary practice of daily seeing and responding.
To that end I feel gratified that even though I was stretching things thin a bit by working that way there are still enough high points along the line that I can go back in now and see what stands out for me. If I were to find say, 50 to 75 images out of 365, that held together, or pointed me in a new way, that would be worth the effort. Although the effort itself was what was truly worth the effort.
And then there is the patience and support that all of you so generously offered me. Your feedback, and your willingness to climb aboard and play this out with me is an unforgettable part of this year’s journey. It was somewhat like having a virtual crew on board our spaceship as we journeyed around the sun together. Your company made it special.
My hope is that by sharing this adventure in seeing with you, and trying to write about it, that something of the special nature of photographic language will have been opened up for all to use as each of you can. Not that I have anything so special to add to the discourse, but because I believe that images offer up speculation after the fact, and that speculative stimulus sends us deeper into the mysteries of the medium, and once we are inside we can begin to find our own way forward. I like that; the invitation into the mystery. Because isn’t that what life is?
This is the last post of 2015. I will not be making daily posts from this point on, there is just too much I want to do, and the time seems to be getting shorter in these later years, and so I want to make the most of what I have, especially now that I have some freedom thanks to the sale of my archive. But I will continue to post my thoughts and/or questions whenever something comes up that seems worthy of sharing with you, or mulling over in public. So, stay tuned.
I will miss the dialogue that I have had with some of you, but the blog remains ‘live,’ and it’s there for whoever wants to make something out of it, or reconsider some of the issues touched upon in the course of our journey. use it as you wish.
I salute you all and wish you the spaciousness of another year.
A Full House
Giving a talk about photography is always a new adventure, no matter how many times i have done it, because I never know what I’ll be talking about until I am up there in front of the audience. I like that risk because it is just like making photographs; the unexpected can happen at any moment.
It may be a new thought triggered by a slide that I have seen many times before but now strikes me in a fresh way, or else it might be a question from someone that sends me off in a direction I hadn’t considered before, or finally it might be the challenge of the new work I am making which might push me to reconsider the older works coming onto the screen.
We can never imagine the work we might make in the future – that’s part of the wonder of all art making – but when we are in the present and can look back, as I can, over 50 years of work, there seems to be a continuous path that unwinds in a way that sometimes seems inevitable.
I’m in Bologna where my new book ‘Morandi’s Objects,’ will premier at the same time as the exhibition of the new work opens at Spazio Damiani, and where I’ll be giving a lecture on the work at MAMbo, the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna.
My time will be pressured for the next 4 days so I am posting 4 images from the 21st to the 24th. Some portraits and landscapes.
The old farmer on whose place we rented our barn.
And below a young and beautiful publisher of FANTOM online Magazine.
In between the landscape plays out its fall beauty in vapor and light, 2 irresistible phenomena.
We always hear these stories about the ‘Italian Mama in the kitchen.’ Well, we were invited to dinner, 12 of us all told, and here she is making magic on this tiny stove in an equally tiny kitchen. How do they do it?’ And with no stress over how many people, how will it turn out, is this the right mix of dishes, etc? They just do it, and do it nicely dressed at the same time!
Small wonders abound, and it’s always fun and funny, eating in big family style in Italy. So much gets talked about, argued over, dramatized and frankly, I now can see why Opera is this country’s great theatrical tradition. And then came the cake. To say it was light is understating the cloud-like delicacy and subtle complexity of flavors that followed every mouthful.
But really, rather than making still photographs, I should have had a video camera running, because the action is ongoing and all over the field at the same time, so something unexpected is always in play.