Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Official Announcement

Don't you just hate it when that happens? You're walking in to work across Southampton Common, minding your own business and keeping an eye out for dog crap, when suddenly there -- right there at the side of the path -- is a burning bush, complete with a voice exclaiming "I yam what I yam, ug ug ug" (sorry, may be confusing my Popeye with my Bible, there).



Not so much a harbinger of spring, as a full-on press launch, with celebrity endorsement, press kit, and the Archangel Gabriel's PA and Max Clifford lurking in huddled conference in the background. Oddly -- perhaps because it was 7:45 in the morning -- I seemed to be the only one there for the photo opportunity.

7 comments:

Bronislaus Janulis said...

Nice image, Dude, sorry, Mike, but mayhaps you've been harbingeing a touch.

I'm a firm believer in moderation, even in excesses. Especially in excesses.Unless of course one needs to blow out some brain cells, but do it moderately.

Mike C. said...

Thanks, Bron -- as William Blake was fond of saying to anyone who'd listen down the pub: "The path of excess leads to to the Palace of Wisdom"...

It was one of those moments when you're almost too embarrassed to frame the picture -- oh, come on...

Mike

Mauro Thon Giudici said...

F8 and being there. he he he

Struan said...

You are missing a faun, and perhaps a bluebell or two.

One of the things that most interests me about photography is how many people will immediately 'get' the lit-by-God references in your photo, but would have missed those same references when confronted with the real scene - especially if they too had just come across it by chance when walking to work.

Mike C. said...

Struan,

Yes, I agree, there's a mystery at work there, though it may be a mystery common to all arts of representation -- a sort of feedback loop of noticing, representing, assimilating, and then noticing more. A diagram is always clearer than a photograph (unless it's from Ikea), and a photo is clearer than reality.

Perhaps good art (as opposed to today's deployment of cliches -- I'll work on the faun...) may be about expanding our repertoire of noticing?

You can imagine the scene at Lascaux: "Damn, you're right, Ug, those horned things are BIG, but the other ones are SMALL!" (Leading up to the joke from Father Ted about some of the cows not being small but FAR AWAY, Dougal ...)

Mike

Struan said...

It's really the inverse of how photographers learn how to 'see'. Taking what you value in great photographs (or other arts) and finding it in the actual world in front of you.

A related question is whether in fact you would want anyone else with you, since you will almost certainly end up explaining why they should be thrilled too. Like jokes, explained wonder gets stale fast.

Mike C. said...

Struan,

No maker of pictures is immune from "picture making", obviously -- sometimes it can be like having a set of those damned Photoshop filters in your head ("Watercolour", "Van Gogh", "Northern Renaissance, attr. Patinir", etc.) ...

As to company, I usually photograph alone or with the few people who understand that Dad is weird, and quite often stands transfixed by a patch of mud for minutes on end. No explanation needed.

As you suggest, no amount of explanation will help someone "get it" who doesn't, but perhaps seeing "it" flat on a piece of paper in a frame sometimes will.

If the British Empire taught one useful lesson, it was "Never apologize, never explain"... (that's a joke). People mean so well when they say things like, "I saw a beautiful sunset the other night and thought, you would have loved to have been here with your camera" ... It's a puzzle how the most sophisticated, intelligent, and caring people can be utter bozos when it comes to visual art.

Mike