Thursday, February 26, 2009

Recent Meanderings in Photography: some things I'm thinking about, iii.

I am interested in the idea of creating a narrative through a series of photographs. I'm not thinking here so much of linear (or circular) narratives like those of Duane Michals, but more of accidental narratives created by the personal tastes and ideals of the individual taking and collecting photographs. For example, when I was a child I photographed animals profusely. The images were blurry and out of focus, and sometimes my subject was rendered so small by the Polaroid camera I used as to be almost indistinguishable in the frame. Yet I keep those photographs to this day. There is a power behind those images, in having them, that I don't quite understand yet, but fascinates me. I think part of it is because these Polaroids are amongst my first "creations." Also, I was documenting my "relationships," the relationships of a child whose perfectionist tendencies made the actions of other children seem sometimes indecipherable and alienating. I often turned instead to animals, who I believed could sense something trustworthy and special in me that humans could not, and whose timidity and dependence mirrored my own. And so, in a small way, these images describe me.
Fascination with animals during one's childhood is fairly common. But what about more specific, more descriptive interests and obsessions? I am curious how a person (or perhaps a fictional character) can be described by the photographs they take, and the photographs they choose to keep. I'm quite curious too about the things other than photographs that people collect, and how those might speak about their possessor, but that may be a discussion for another day...

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