July 4, 2012
In recent days, long with work and absent time for being with photos, I enjoy every evening Carrie Elizabeth Thompson’s ten photos.  As Alec Soth describes: “Carrie has taken on the ambitious task of posting 10 pictures a day of her life as an artist/mother. For those of us who struggle to be alert to the beauty, mystery and complexity of everyday life, Carrie’s blog is an eye opener. Go here: http://carrielizabethompson.tumblr.com/
For me, Ms. Thompson’s daily practice accomplishes two vital things:
i. Her daily intent provides context for the act of viewing.  I encounter hundreds - thousands - of beautiful, formally astute, complex or ecstatic photos online, but struggle to engage them.  In this image saturated environment, I find I need a scaffolding — a project, a narrative, an emotive journey — to find my way amid the image clutter.  In Ms. Thompson’s work, we have the beautiful quotidian struggle for beauty and vision.
ii. Ms. Thompson’s daily practice inspires me to remain present and sensate to the world. Curiously, my camera is a crutch against solipsism, narcissism, and rank instrumentalism.
In the photo above, we find Ms. Thompson acutely aware of photo history. Below, Walker Evans.

Penny Picture Display, Savannah, Georgia.. 1936.  By Walker Evans.

License Photo Studio, New York, 1934Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975)Gelatin silver print

In recent days, long with work and absent time for being with photos, I enjoy every evening Carrie Elizabeth Thompson’s ten photos.  As Alec Soth describes: “Carrie has taken on the ambitious task of posting 10 pictures a day of her life as an artist/mother. For those of us who struggle to be alert to the beauty, mystery and complexity of everyday life, Carrie’s blog is an eye opener. Go here: http://carrielizabethompson.tumblr.com/

For me, Ms. Thompson’s daily practice accomplishes two vital things:

i. Her daily intent provides context for the act of viewing.  I encounter hundreds - thousands - of beautiful, formally astute, complex or ecstatic photos online, but struggle to engage them.  In this image saturated environment, I find I need a scaffolding — a project, a narrative, an emotive journey — to find my way amid the image clutter.  In Ms. Thompson’s work, we have the beautiful quotidian struggle for beauty and vision.

ii. Ms. Thompson’s daily practice inspires me to remain present and sensate to the world. Curiously, my camera is a crutch against solipsism, narcissism, and rank instrumentalism.

In the photo above, we find Ms. Thompson acutely aware of photo history. Below, Walker Evans.

Penny Picture Display, Savannah, Georgia.. 1936.  By Walker Evans.

License Photo Studio, New York, 1934
Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975)
Gelatin silver print

June 11, 2012
Misty, by Alec Soth, from Niagara, 2005.
Archaic Torso of Apollo, by Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Stephen Mitchell)
We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. 
And yet his torso is still suffused with brilliance from inside
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark center where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself
burst like a star: for here there is no place 
that does not see you.  You must change your life.

http://www.stephenmitchellbooks.com/transAdapt/poetryRilkeExcerpt02.html

Misty, by Alec Soth, from Niagara, 2005.

Archaic Torso of Apollo, by Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Stephen Mitchell)

We cannot know his legendary head

with eyes like ripening fruit.

And yet his torso is still suffused with brilliance from inside

like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,


gleams in all its power. Otherwise

the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could

a smile run through the placid hips and thighs

to that dark center where procreation flared.


Otherwise this stone would seem defaced

beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders

and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:


would not, from all the borders of itself

burst like a star: for here there is no place 

that does not see you.  You must change your life.


http://www.stephenmitchellbooks.com/transAdapt/poetryRilkeExcerpt02.html

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