2.1: Theme: Story
Every picture tells a story, they say. Indeed it does. However, what that story would be can be very ambiguous with photography. Of course you can provide a photograph with an according description and theme, but I'm very careful with that. I tend towards more abstract titles and loose concepts, to also allow for a greater variety and an increased possibility for interpretation. The stories I actively attribute to my pictures can rather be drawn from the way I organize them into groups and categories, the framing, so to say, sets the premise.
If you take Earth as an example, the focus seems rather restricted: What I show is earth. That category is set into the group of Elements, both introducing variations on the classical elements as well as some basic elements of my visual storytelling. That being said, each of the pictures now stands both on its own as well as it is rooted in the larger context of its respective category resp. series. There is a certain development in that series, starting with what I described in poem #141, "White" - which is the core definition of what I look for in the entire group of Elements:
"And beyond, below it all -
Earth so screaming, frozen, stiff"
The series then moves to plain earth, in color variations (2), then unicolored in perspective (3), then with the element of water and reflections of trees introduced (4), fuzzy (5) and straight (6) structures and a more askew angle and perspective (7) added, the last one being linked to the fourth of the Spirit category. The combinations of themes thus becomes important in here, and will be of even greater importance in all subsequent groups.
What "message" now is an image of plain earth to tell? May I refer back to that poem? Or should I utter an ecological message, or an agricultural one? I feel it not only quite superfluous but also dangerously restricting to impose such a limited "meaning" onto such a picture. Art doesn't come with preposterous agendas attached. Then I could write an essay on ecology or agriculture or industrialization or whatever. The purpose of art is precisely this inherent diversity of interpretation, this other-than-obvious level. That must not be explained away, and it can't be - all explanations on my side may sound interesting, but they are just my personal opinion anyway.
August 16th, 2001 / July 24th, 2003