1.1: Why Photography
I'm a rather visual person. I don't quite crave for large sums of written text, which may be quite ironic as I seem to like producing large sums of written text, and as I'm also quite fond of literature and language in general. But I'm more of an abstract person, or a very specific one. I don't like to be specific on a grand scheme. I like analyzing small portions of text, large ones however simply take too long. Large and long things I tend to grasp in an abstract or more general way, combining all senses. I just dislike reading a long novel over days or months, I don't even have the concentration for it. A movie, however, has a precise start and end point, you can make detailed analysis, and you can experience it with lots more senses and under much more aspects than a book. There's music, photography, lighting, effects, story, acting, whatever. Some things you cannot grasp logically, you can just feel them. You can look at them, delve into the situation, and then - less consciously even - you either get it or not, but mostly on a non-cerebral and more emotional level.
A picture doesn't necessarily come with a wordy explanation. In that, it's more like poetry than prose. Prose tends to at least follow some conventional modes of narration, poetry however is more obscure, relies more on the emotional than the logical side. Yet poetry is something I've been doing for quite some time now, I'm planning to continue writing it, but somehow I'm also craving for something completely else. Or rather, not completely. The essence, detail and abstract, is still there, yet the medium is different.
Taking photos is something I can remember having done almost for ever, photography however is something new to me, still is after hundreds of pictures. That partly comes from experimenting, finding a style and obsession, losing it again, finding something new etc. It also comes from trying to incorporate old material under a new agenda. But basically, it's still a great experiment, I don't know what'll come from it, it's just a big new something waiting there to be explored. A toy, if you may, to sate my childish and manly (which I believe to be the same most of the time) needs for playing.
It could also be something else, like music for instant. I've been experimenting with that also, even for much longer than I've been doing anything else, but it hasn't yielded any real results yet, maybe it will in the future. Movies are another thing, but far more complex and far too distant for me right now. Photography is the smallest of my additional interests beside text that I can currently afford to indulge in.
What purpose does photography carry? What am I doing it for? Honestly, I don't know. I could invent some big, easy agenda, but basically, it's a visual interest, and it is more emotional than rational. Of course, you want to make some utterance with what you show or make. But art is too plentifold to just restrict it by labeling it in a unidirectional way. A picture - as any piece of art - has the ability to tell something completely different to every different viewer. So maybe it's just about creating material for reflection, contemplation, meditation. Maybe it's just attempting to hit a nerve or trigger a thought or idea or memory, maybe it's something different. As I've already said, I'm more of an abstract person. I like to abstract from the concrete and let the so-called meaning transcend to a different level.
Thus I won't attempt to analyze or even interpret or thoroughly explain here what my intentions are. I wouldn't even if I knew what they were. A certain portion of obscurity has to remain. What I'm about to contemplate upon right here, right now, is just charting the territory, providing some variables and thoughts that may be useful or at least interesting for approaching my work. The focus of this text is also to say something about art in general, my own will be the example at hand here. Just understand it as a kind of making-of, or what it says in the heading: some reflections on my photographs.
August 16th, 2001