One, two, three, four.
These images, how they address us. They have a certain pull/sh.
Magnetic pull, magnetic draw. A gravitational effect. But resistance, too.
Come close, come closer, stop.
What do we demand from the photographic image, now, at a time when there is no escape from a torrential flow of images?
Indexicality? Authenticity? Affect? Are these qualities even possible any longer?
The American landscape photographer and professor, Thomas Joshua Cooper, said in an interview “I don’t take photographs, I make photographs”.
These images are made, constructed, but also taken, chosen. That is what they tell us, this is what we know. An act of framing took place, a segment of time was captured, somewhere, some time. These images were made somewhere, in a certain place, at a certain time and then they were transposed in time, in space, to be here, to address us in the “here” and the “now”. That circumstance appears to be simple, but it is not. Because? Because the “there” of the image was the ”here” of its origin and the “then” we perceive in the “now” of our looking was the “now” of its capture. It’s a form of time travel, you see, where the image suggests it can move itself, and us, from now to now.
We might suppose that images such as these are mute. This would be an error. The sounds that could be heard in the when and the where of their making reside, at a remove, within the images. A crunching underfoot of loose stones. Wind rustling the surface of a large expanse of fabric. The subdued echoes of traffic and urban activity reflected back from architectural surface.
These images balance. They balance between saying too much and not saying anything. They invite reflection, they do not cry out for attention. They have composure; they are composed, they are confident, but there is no braggadocio. One could live with such images, slowly get to know them, learn to enjoy their spaces of some-where, some-when, spaces and places that are neither too full nor too empty.
Text by Jeremy Welsh
“Most importantly, a philosophy of emptiness that understands contingency and impermanence must remain constantly aware of the endless tendency to reify and identify, and must never refuse to shift its gaze reflexively to itself…… The delicate balance of the middle way is a tightrope, a knife’s edge between is and is not, between positive and negative, realism and nihilism. Thus philosophers of emptiness must look at their footwork as dancers in space and language”.
A philosophy of Emptiness
Reaktion Books, 2014