Sunday, September 16

Furious Chance

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The most intriguing images are mysteries. Um, well, to some degree every photo-based image is a mystery, since exposition is particularly difficult in the display of a frozen instant. But some are better at telling a story than others.

I enjoy the tack sharp images which make the subject crystal clear, but leave the meaning as elusive as Al Gore’s sex appeal, or as eloquence is to George Bush. I like the image which gives us a surface we can dive through… one which seems to be the sheen atop an ocean of meaning.

Photographic images seem to say,"Hey dummy, this is what reality must be like if it looked this way." But like this massive furious orange cement gorilla atop a five story building, you know that the image maker isn’t telling you everything. You know there’s a secret to this photograph… if it is a photograph... and if there ever was a monster beast high atop that ugly parapet on a day as clear as summer makes them.

But even if that image didn’t happen, we know that it is happening in that rectangle. So why? What reality is this image describing?

I tell you, the images we can make contain some puzzle piece each time we produce them. And there’s a satisfaction in solving those mysteries. That is if there are unique solutions. No… no… there are unique solutions, and each of us can create one.

There’s something predatory about image creation. We hunt for game, shoot it, then we do our own taxidermy. Images become trophies that represent something we accomplished: some thought or feeling which overwhelmed us. And we display them to tell what we concluded to others. To tell them of the possible fury which can lurk up above us, ready at any moment to smash down a massive fist, even in the brilliant sunlight of a perfect summer’s day.

Could it be that chance is a monster gorilla in an orange shirt?

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