We all take snapshots, with our camera or with our
eyes. A snapshot is a slice of space-time. It also
distorts our perception of space-time, by apprehending
the participants of a moment that no longer exists.
The snapshot - as photograph - transcends space-time, in
the awareness of the artist, by casting a passing image
in eternal nowness, which is where the artist resides.
This happens outside of space-time, in other words and
however we understand it, it always is.
Eternal nowness is not silent - it is the potency of
silence itself; each pixel of the empirical universe is
rooted there; its potential is endless and endlessly
inventive. The photograph is a singular expression of
that rootedness. It arises as a shell of expression in
an ocean of possibilities.
On its face a photograph appears static: it's the record
of an event. It also transcends the event -
historically, in time and space - but, more to the
point, as Being, eternal nowness. As that, its
boundaries are fluid; it is capable of articulating a
fullness beyond its facade.
Compositions enables a photograph to speak.
Objects, colors, breadth, atmosphere - that are hidden
but are appropriate to the quiddity of the photograph -
cluster at the gate awaiting their opportunity to be
selected or to be set aside.
The role of the creator of a composition is to
make choices that are so obvious they're not choices at
all. Although the process is experimental it never feels
arbitrary. The end result should be uncrowded and
natural. If the original photograph can't be recognized
it should still be comfortable within its surroundings.
Most importantly, a composition needs to be out
of context while appearing to be in context, unplaceable
but not out of place. It parallels the human experience:
pure awareness lived - without qualification - as the
unknowable, indivisible, all-pervading mystery that is
eternal nowness, while apparently recognizable as what
or whomever we think we are.
What is the origin of compostions? Many years
ago, in Western Turkey, I photographed a landscape -
from the roadside, through a stand of aspens - of a row
of laborers digging in a field, filling canvas bags with
what might have been potatoes. Behind them the field was
stubble. In Turkey there are so many Greek and Roman
ruins that you anticipate their appearance wherever you
are. Right there, in the field of stubble, I thought,
should be an ancient temple. Quite a bit later, when I
began to scan slide film and process the digital files,
I placed one there. It did more than complete the scene
- it created a depth of display and of significance that
humbled even my original intent. This is where compositions
was born. Do you see it?
||~ elegant art ~
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