“But the art in an artwork might not be located precisely where you thought it was. Perhaps it was just as much in the damage and decay as it was in the intact original. Perhaps it was in the gaps – in contemplating and rending those insults and injuries – that we find ourselves, by compassion; by bandaging, however imperfectly, those wounds. Art may be a species of faith, the assurance of things hoped for. It contains nothing so much as our wish that we persist.”
As photographers, we know that there is a fairly wide range of options available to us that change what was to what we show the world in our images. Every photograph is a composite of the choices we make as the person who eventually presents the image. Every photograph is an interpretation of the way the world really looks.
An early influence on my ways of thinking about photography on a deeper level was the great writer John Berger. A poet, novelist, artist screenwriter and more, Berger, born in 1926, and died just a few weeks ago, in January of 2017 at the age of 90. A read of Berger’s work gives great insight into what meaning we derive from looking, seeing and photographing.
Walt Whitman’s poems in his opus Leaves of Grass mirror the actions of the photographer by beginning with facts and transforming those facts into ideas. I explore how both photography and Whitman’s poetry use simple language to convey complex ideas, giving any object or experience new importance by recording it on a previously blank page.