Archive for August 11th, 2009
Yes, a second post today. I felt that I had to explain why the change in type of photo being put on this blog site.
As you may have noticed, I have been playing with some of my photos. This is a scene from rural Saskatchewan, just one of countless abandonned buildings and farmyards, places of the last pioneers to the new world. As with a few other recent photos, I’ve been playing with colour and light so as to create images that are “not quite black and white.” It’s a theme I want to explore more for its psychological as well as its photographic meaning. In a way, this almost absence of colour makes me think of how one perceives the world when in a fugue, in a depression. In another way, it makes me think of how we bounce between black and white thinking and thinking that leaves room for “other” possibilities. This might be a theme that will become my next SoFoBoMo book, the 2010 SoFoBoMo project. But, since that is a long ways away, until June and July of next year, I will allow myself the luxury of changing my mind should other ideas move to the realm of “need to do” rather than being just a neat idea.
Why “almost” black and white? In my own way, just the hint of colour is a sign of life beyond the darkness, that even in the unconscious, there is positive life, things that can be brought out from the darkness and shadows with which to allow one more respect for self.
I didn’t want to just have the images be “grey” as that is more about defeat than about hope. In a book I read over a month ago, The Cellist of Sarajevo, one of the characters of the book, Dagan, wanders the streets of war-torn Sarajevo. One of his descriptions still haunts me,
Everything around him is a particular shade of grey. He’s not sure where it came from, if it was always there and the ware has simply stripped away the colour that hid it, of if this grey is the colour of war. Either way, it gives the whole street a bleak feeling. (Galloway, Steven, The Cellist of Sarajevo, 2008, page 40)
On the corner of two country roads, this tiny graveyard sits quietly. There is no sign to indicate the church or the community that once lay behind the graveyard. Only two kilometres east of this corner, a Ukrainian Catholic church with its own graveyard still remains active after more than seventy years of service to Ukrainian immigrants to Saskatchewan, Canada. This graveyard? A mystery. It suggests to me that these people went their own way. A new land meant new thoughts, new possibilities. Perhaps in taking the other road, the individual’s road rather than the communal road, they weren’t welcomed by the community, even in death. Beware of being an individual. It can be rather a lonely road even if the path is lived in relation to the community.
As so long as you haven’t experienced
This: to die and so to grow
Your are only a troubled guest
On the dark earth (J.R. von Goethe)