1.24.2008

rocking horses, photography and ramblings

this is an image from my childhood. that's my little sister in the background. this is the living room we grew up in, xmas day 1980 or 1981. my stepdad must have taken the photo. 

i was very excited to find this image in my parent's attic. i don't recall ever having seen it or any of the other images i found with this one... but i'm very curious as to what it is we think about ourselves, our family histories, our memories and knowledge, and generally, how these personal/individual discoveries and thoughts relate to broader, collective histories, cultural memories and our understandings of ourselves as peoples and populations, as communities and governing bodies trying to construct practical systems to accommodate our everyday needs. (what a run-on sentence!) 
maybe this particular image isn't the best one for this sort of pondering. it doesn't really tell me much about either myself or my family. it doesn't link me to any particular, obvious political or cultural narrative that i'm immediately aware of... but i do think it's a beautiful image. its beauty resonates not just from its formal qualities, but from this sense of mystery that it has evoked about my own early childhood. i was 6 or 7 at the time of this was taken, and as such have very few distinct memories from the time... that's not were i want to take this thought right now. there must be many different readings of images like this one. one of the shortcomings of a singular found image is that it lacks the context of the roll of photography that it was originally framed within. for example, when i look through my collection photo albums from other people's lives, i experience a variety of different fascinations. one is that simply beautiful aesthetic form of the aged photograph, always different due to processing techniques, papers, storage issues, scrapbooking issues, etc... another is finding the threads that connect the people and places in all of the photos. another is assessing what's missing, what years of a family's lives does an album cover? i tend to think (erroneously) of a photo album as a portrait of a person's or family's entire life, when in actuality nearly all photo albums cover only brief periods of time. where are the rest of the years? if other albums existed, how did they get separated? i'll come back to this all later... i'm tired, and i've been thinking about this for years. i'm not going to solve it on the second day of this blog's existence.
what's interesting me at this moment is figuring out my fascination with photo collecting and how it relates to my own creative practice as an artist. at some point, i'll try to digitize and post one of my albums in its entirety. maybe that will spark the answers... 
what are the ethics of architecting narratives for other people's lives? ethics are a mute point if the narratives never reach out to potentially affect or offend someone, yet an artist's integrity must pose the question if one is in pursuit of an honest creative practice.... 
goodnight, nobody.

1 comment:

shipoopi said...

yee haw!