spring brings flowers

drooping tulips

nearing the end

There’s a certain discipline, I find, in working with still objects. Light and shape become the narrative. The quietness is where the image lives and breathes.

As A.D. Coleman wrote a long time ago, the real work of photography is “making things look, deciding how a thing is to appear in the image.” This encapsulates an important aspect of what I aim for in practicing photography. What I aim to present is not so much about whatever happens to be the content within the frame; rather, it is the total perceptual and affective effect of the shapes, the lighting, the mood, the interaction of subjectivities with each other. Such interconnections create a narrative that is often, and perhaps preferably, without a linguistic counterpart, a narrative that responds to and places itself within a larger artistic conversation.

What this larger conversation encompasses, it seems to me, is different for each individual photograph. Sometimes, it goes as far as to participate in the image-making tradition in its wider institutional sense, the one supported by museums and established modes of criticism. At other times, the context is personal and idiosyncratic. Mostly, it is a mishmash of competing contexts and it is in their complex interactions where the meaning, or interpretation, is to be sought. At any rate, the conversation is among the artworks themselves, not the way they are categorized within criticism and historical commentary.

The stillness of images, then, is how and where each work positions itself within the ongoing conversation with the art that is its ground and compost.

About Ron Wiecki

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