Monthly Archives: February 2012

I purchased Bangert’s book Iraq: The Space between not long after I finished the mass graves work and left Iraq.

There is some absurdity, some humour, some tragedy and some horror in its pages. A young man and his camera bumping around on assignment for the NYT, snapping pictures and piecing his thoughts and emotions together.

His picture of the little green telephone is a glorious understated thing. I smile when I see it.

It’s about distance

Us. Them.

Our hopes and fears.

Cultures. Peoples.

My experience and theirs.

Wars. Transitions.

A camera and a subject.

 

The space between.

He continues to follow commissions and is kept super busy by the NYT and other pubs. Hats off to him for his energy and effort.

www.christophbangert.com

I’ll be offline and in and out of phone coverage till early next week (even now I’m somewhere nowhere near a web connection… bliss).

Apologies to anyone trying to find me. Promise I’ll respond when I can.

Rolling to see family and pursue some pictures… they keep me busy at times (in all the right ways).

The little tortured shirt twisted in the scrub makes me stare at Richard Higginbottom’s picture for hours at a time.

That sense of wickedness that I project onto the photograph; of a shadowy happening or a site of past atrocity – landscape we define by transient human events while the trees look on quietly. It holds me here on this work.

I keep going back to it. Quietly looking at the fallen leaves, imaging the damp smell filling my nostrils, enjoying the form that stands out from its wonderfully chaotic skeleton of branch, leaf and twig.

www.richardhigginbottom.com

I bit the bullet and have just placed a small edit of the spoils on my website.

This is very much an ongoing piece of work… early days indeed… so this could be seen as me giving a bit of fresh air to the pictures, letting them get a bit of sun while sitting out there without my little claws keeping the snaps close to my chest. It’ll change and shuffle, pictures will be removed and pictures will be added (hell the whole thing will probably disappear on occasion when I crack the shits and pull it from view ready to burn the whole fucking thing).

We’ll see. It’s certainly a slab of work that keeps me pushing the button every day and really taking a step to stretch my legs a little and explore my new city, relationship, baby and home.

See the spoils here  or if you want to be fancy just click on the picture above.

** I’ve scheduled this to be published at the time of night when my head will be underwater chasing a lead puck around on the bottom of a pool… I figure that’s my best bet at avoiding the shrieks of laughter and scorn that these snaps will garner.

Events over the last month (but particularly in the last three days) have made me stop and really consider the delicate, fragile nature of a standing, breathing human. Yep… it’s that classic pathetic-personal-reaction to seeing tragedy from a safe distance; you stop and think a few things through, consider your luck and make a few vague promises to yourself concerning life, relationships, the present and the legacy of your actions. I’d say most of us get it when facing horrible facts if we don’t have the comfortable option of turning away.

It was heart breaking to see two young kids happily playing at their dad’s funeral while the family wept in confusion and shock.

So now I selfishly sit here thankful for the gifts at hand and determined to appreciate even the simplest little events and moments; to be consciously present when the opportunity is staring me in the face. Seeing Jacob reach out to Fred while they communed in their little-man blahblah is one such tiny gesture that I am now celebrating whole heartedly.

Hopefully I am enough of a person to continue with this degree of wonder and not let myself slip back into a ‘going-through-the-motions’ existence.

 

Geoff Dyer is a smart dude.

Just gotta say it, simple. And he wields a freakin cool accent.

His book The Ongoing Moment is sitting in my bookshelf still recovering from the savaging I gave it as I continued to read it over and over and over and over and over years ago. Lucid, direct, without hero-worship and a glorious celebration of photographs and their potential. In fact this little video has got me hot under the collar to stay up late tonight and devour a slab of it again – apologies to the pages about to be brutally thumbed again.

Now this short film doesn’t give you all the pictures he speaks to (if it did I’d wet my pants)… but most of us have pedalled wildly around as kids and more often than not in our older age so the brain and emotions can do the rest. My old rusty $25 wheelwheel serves simply to get me from A to B without glamour or terrifying speed, and I’m probably one of the more daggy pedallers wearing old football clothes and sneakers (no lycra and Farmstrong style on this fat boy).

For all you keen cyclists and photographers there are wonderful discoveries to be made in this short twelve minutes of chatting, flicking pictures and “why the fuck give us a close up of Dyer for nearly the whole presentation instead of including the piccies?!” burning belly reaction.

Have fun!