Life is a Dream
What is an Egypt?
Si vous marchez avant que vous rampiez,
Vous rampez avant que vous mouriez
We are all submissive
So are our truths
In spite of this, we claim the Grind
The beautiful Grind
But what we don’t realize is that
It was never there
It was always there
My Reflection (I know this is far more than one paragraph but honestly, the prompt for it was way too demanding and enticing)
I wanted to tell a story of something being built, destroyed and then recycled. I sought out the initial photographs with the goal that they would contribute to an extended metaphor for life, each one being symbolic of the cyclical nature of nature itself. I sought out many photographs, over twice the amount in the essay, because I kept changing my mind on how each one contributed. Interestingly enough, I ended up editing out every photograph with humans in them except one. The surviving one merely had an actor portraying a dead body in it. I felt that the ideas created by seeing people in photographs, “where are they now?” “what happened in their past and future?” “are they dead?”, were detrimental to my narrative’s purpose in representing the cyclical patterns of life. Berger would probably describe this as the ambiguity between the operator’s recording and observer’s contact.
My aversion for this type of ambiguity would come to play later, where my commenters noted how their perception of the photographs changed because they recognized some of the popular images in them, such as a famous cemetery in New Orleans. I also realized that many had very similar visions for the essay that I did. My goal with the added narrative was then to expand these similar visions, which their titles described as “monumental” and “castles in the sand”, through text, thus opening the narrow interpretive view I had created.
I saw my narrative as pure and elemental, so I did not want it to lose these tonalities for aesthetic reasons. Yet, these same aspects, in my mind, made it too narrow in interpretative scope. I sought to amend this contradiction by adding captions that, although not outright opposing, created some tension with the photographs, forcing the observer to think. Some of the captions contained simple ideas, even if just a word, that I thought would open the photographs to different interpretations. Others provided their own narrative, like a poem, that followed the progression the photographic narrative but without referencing it explicitly. I even contradicted myself sometimes, for the sake of constructive discontinuity, such as when I captioned a photograph “…Ozymandias” when the photograph depicts an image similar to the one intended in the poem.
What I found most interesting of the whole project is how much my vision changed. Midway through its construction, the photographic narrative itself began to influence how I saw it and how I thought it should look like. Despite my perspective as an editor of photographs, I realized that the idea that the photographer has final say in her work weakens when shed in the light of the inherent power of the photograph itself.
*** Do not associate these titles with any of the photographs
Stonehenge: https://photographyandlit.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/stonehenge-wallpaper-1.jpg Small Pyramid: http://www.tabhauser.com/tabhauser_egyptjordan.htm Arch of Triumph: http://althistory.wikia.com/wiki/Arc_de_Triomphe_(Gro%C3%9F-Deutschland) Notre Dame Scary http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Notre_Dame_Cathedral.jpg Ozymandias: http://laliteraliteraria.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/ozymandias-egypt.jpg Lost In Corn: http://www.zonezero.com/zz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1235&catid=2&Itemid=7&lang=en# Wall Grave: http://www.reidkasprowicz.com/photoblog/2012/12/the-wall-between-life-and-death/ Dead Ivy Wall: http://www.featurepics.com/online/Dead-Wall-Ivy-Photos174261.aspx Barcelona Crumbling Wall: http://www.barcelonaphotoblog.com/2007/03/iberians-on-track-of-my-ancestors.html Sedimentary with Road: http://geotripper.blogspot.com/2012/03/strangers-in-strange-land-tuff-luck-its.html Lone Rock: http://www.mnorthup.com/2009%20Spring%20Desert%20Trip/a-Death%20Valley/slides/DSC_4971%20Lone%20Rock%20-%20DV%20North%20End.html Savannah Plains: http://bjkz.blogspot.com/2012_06_01_archive.html Rains Nambia: http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/50000/50573/namibia_rainstorm_photo_lrg.jpg Small Pine: http://openspacerestoration.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/slash-pine.jpg Field of Seedlings: http://0.tqn.com/d/treesandshrubs/1/0/P/4/-/-/WalnutTreeSeedlingsFlickrKidMoxie.jpg Baobab Field: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramonaflip/5747980492/ Fat Baobab: http://www.zonezero.com/zz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1245&catid=2&Itemid=7&lang=en#