Quietude

I’ve been a busy bee over the break, as, I’m sure, have you!  I’ve taken a part-time job as the collections manager and registrar of the Richard M. Ross Museum of Art in Delaware, OH.  I was also working for the Canzani Gallery at CCAD doing some digital photo printing for the upcoming photography show.  I printed 50+ images for the gallery over break, with the photo department’s permission to use their wonderful suite of printers.  I’m excited to see the rest of the work when the show opens later this month.  It’s going to be a good one!

Of course, in addition to professional activities, I was also working a lot on thesis.  I did a substantial amount of shooting, and I look forward to developing my film this Friday (and probably Sunday, as I can only do 1 roll of 620 film per tank of chemicals).  I’ve also been doing a lot of reading for thesis, and I wanted to share a few of my recent reads that have me completely captivated.  The first is called “Between the Dark Earth and the Sheltering Sky: The Arboreal in Kiarostami’s Photography” by Erik Nakjavani in Iranian Studies (March 2006).  The article focuses on meditation and solitude in photography, particularly in the work of Abbas Kiarostami.  One of my favorite quotes from this article reads thus, “Captured photographically, the ever-lasting present moment in nature’s tableau puts us in touch with the whole of Time: past, present, and future as an indivisible whole.” (pp 35)  Another focus of this article ties in to research I did at the beginning of the school year on the symbolism of tree, earth, and sky, recurring elements in my own photographs.  Bottom line, it’s been a really insightful and enlightening read.

The other article I’ve particularly enjoyed is “A Note on Photography in a Zen Key” by Peter Zhang in China Media Research.  It’s a succinct article about the photographic counterculture that has abandoned hi-res instant digital imagery, highly Photoshopped and edited, in favor of something slower and, in the author’s estimation, more Zen.  Zhang likens Zen and black and white photography to “coolness” as opposed to the “hotness” of color photographs and the kind of interaction they illicit in a viewer.  The article talks about viewer relationship to image, and photography which has the viewer’s satori as its aim.

I’ve also been very keen on the work of Daniel Borden lately, and I’ve been gobbling up anything I can find about his process and the relationship of his work to time.  Hopefully that wasn’t too dull, but I’ve had things circulating in my brain and needed to commit a few things to the written word.

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