on losing focus and seeing things

Saturday 22 May 2010

I have been playing with a few landscape digital photographs, having not pursued much in the way of any painting or drawing this week…

A few filters applied here and there, playing with digital effects up to the point of image dissolution… i am interested in the notion of blindness or visual impairment and the many classifications and measures of visual acuity… rarely is someone completely blind… they may have an awareness of objects in space, a perception of distance, or a sense of light in determining day or night time… one assumes that the other senses are heightened in compensation – hearing, touch, taste and smell..

these images mirror washes of watercolour or sepia ink blots on wet paper, or smoke drawings…

melting…

diffusing…

dissolving…

dispersing…

evaporating…

blindness has also become a metaphor for stubborness, weakness, ignorance or indifference, on not wanting to see something: turning a blind eye, having blind faith, going up a blind alley, not listening to a blind word, effing and blinding, it’s all so blindingly obvious…

I am not just seeing things; i have some ideas…

I could, in artspeak, say that in these images i am aiming to subvert or undermine a belief that landscape photography is inherently truthful… but when i really think about it, it’s about achieving emotional distance, separation, remoteness, seeking a form of liberation, acceptance, transformative and reflective, of one’s own memory to reality… even a memento mori… but it seems too reductive and limiting to intellectualise from a distance; art is inseparable from one’s own experiences of life – there are gaps waiting to be filled. these are just my thoughts; here are some from others…

Anselm Kiefer:
I don’t paint to present an image of something. I paint only when I have received an apparition, a shock, when I want to transform something. Something that possesses me, and from which I have to deliver myself. Something I need to transform, to metabolize, and which gives me a reason to paint.


Anselm Kiefer, Heavy Cloud, lead and shellac on photograph, 1985

Gerhard Richter:
Strange though this may sound, not knowing where one is going, being lost, being a loser, reveals the greatest possible faith and optimism, as against collective security and collective significance. To believe, one must have lost God; to paint, one must have lost art.


Gerhard Richter, overpainted photograph, 1992

Andrei Tarkovsky:
Any artist in any genre is striving to reflect as deep as possible a person’s inner world… [to tell] about the inner duality of a human being, about his contradictory position between spirit and substance, between spiritual ideals and the necessity to exist in this material world.

Tarkovsky – Solaris

[last scene, solaris]

the local lakes shrouded in mist in midwinter recall Tarkovsky…