April 9 Thoughts
I saw this image on my phone while reading an article on perfectionism:
Claude Monet, Waterloo Bridge, 1903
Monet painted this bridge over and over in different weather, lighting, moods, etc. What struck me about this one in particular is the fog. I had just been talking to a friend of mine on how I would photograph the pandemic and the different angles available. I'm tired of seeing mediocre landscape photography that tries to portray empty streets, people in masks, people gathering without masks. I don't feel like the images are timeless or stand without particular context.
I made some quick reference notes in regards to how this painting influences me:
- Fog distances the reality and pushes life into a memory
- How can an image function as a performance of removing what you've come to expect
- What tools can photography provide to distance us from the expected... side notes on this: loose focus, motion blur, an unsettling color palette, light - whether light rays, washes of light, or deep shadows/underexposure, textures like plastic, water, or additional glass over the lens, etc. Or what about just so much chaos in the shot that it's hard to see through the thick
Also - do the images need to be a triptych to convey clear focus/slight blur/total blur?
Then, I thought okay - another angle I've found myself thinking recently on my walks is the amount of personal space I take when I'm about to pass another. I've noticed that if I'm walking on a trail, a path, or a sidewalk, nobody moves - if I don't go into the grass or street or up a little rock wall, we would be shoulder to shoulder. Studies have shown that even in breath, the particles linger in the air behind and around the person.
Americans already require about 3ft social distance between strangers to feel comfortable, while Romanians want around 4ft, and Argentinians want around two and a half. I'm curious, then, if this 6ft distance will become commonplace among societies and if so, how will that change urban design?
Andrea Garcia Portaluppi - city of Quevedo, Ecuador
This snapshot taken by Andrea fascinates me. The imposed geometry resonates with the existing geometry so beautifully, as do the colors and activities. It's both a playful yet stark look at the present day. The cat in the corner is even social distancing.
How do we still publicly own our private lives and personal space in a pandemic? We're all covered in masks and gloves, fearful of one another and of objects we bring into our lives. We hide in our homes, behind digital media and front doors - away from mail carriers, deliveries of food and provisions and loved ones.
This imposition of private space in public settings makes me think of communism and how the Albanians in Tirana were mortified at the way Edi Rama painted all of their brutalist architecture in flamboyant ways, thus exposing them and making them "look like a circus." Of course the Albanians weren't comfortable or very functional under Hoxha's rule, but a similar kind of fear and distrust seeped into culture and isolated them from one another. During his reign, Enver Hoxha convinced Albanians they were to be caught in a surprise battle with foreign powers at any point in time. He had people build over 750,000 concrete and steel bunkers into their own landscape - stealing its beauty and mobility for generations to come.
On a lighter note, I've also been thinking - how are all the bros are doing in quarantine? I think I want to write something on this - how they've been deprived of gyms, stadiums, tailgating, drunk girls, playing cornhole in the front yard, ax throwing... and how they're probably only comforted by their favorite sweatpants.