Over at her always thoughtful site the space in between, Stacy Oborn threads together three writers and their relationship to photography in perfect images, written photographs and the absolute.
For all three writers — Hervé Guibert, Roland Barthes, and Marguerite Duras —the photographs they most admire are either imagined or images from their family or even both. In each case the photo, real or imagined, comes along carrying a lot of narrative baggage. It’s the narrative baggage, more than the image, that gives value and power to each photograph. And specifically, personal narrative. The authors will not see this photograph (“their” perfect photograph) as others will see it.
We had the first session of Photography Made Difficult at Coffee Society tonight — it was a bit noisy and certainly crowded but quieter than the “Open Mic Night” over at Barefoot. The PMD group was small as expected: myself, Allan Chen, Pieris, and David Lee. Which was good — more than one or two additions and it would have been all the tougher to talk to everyone. And everyone brought prints!
I was surprised/impressed by an unexpected dramatic use of photography in an old re-run — the second half of a two-part episode of the time-travel series Quantum Leap (The premise of the series is that the current-day hero Sam’s consciousness “leaps” into the bodies of various (usually non-famous) characters from late 20th century history. He is assisted by his colleague Al, who guides him with info gleaned from 21st-century sources). The episode is titled “The Leap Home Pt 2.” If you like this TV series and haven’t seen that episode re-run on SciFi yet, well:
Somewhat as a by-product of my filing system and just due to the nature of the season, I spend a good deal of January picking through all the files on my various computers, burning many CDs, collating pages of negative sleeves, and reviewing proof sheets by the dozen.
Jealousy, it’s pure and simple jealousy.
An hour north of here is fotovision. But not in San Jose.
In Boston they have the Boston Street group. But not in Santa Clara.
So here’s a possible tonic: The Photography Made Difficult Meetup Group. A chance to talk about pictures, and process, and what’s going right and what’s going wrong and are the pictures good enough and maybe just have too much coffee.