kapiloff photography


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For travel photographs by Paul
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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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Paul Kapiloff  2004-2021
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