THINKING THROUGH ROCK
I am no longer trying to "express myself" to impose my own personality on nature, but without falsification, to become identified with nature. - Edward Weston
I've been reading a book entitled, Perception and Imaging: Photography - A Way of Seeing. It's not your typical Rule of Thirds, Leading Lines, or S-curve sort of compositional how-to, but more about conceptual visualization - how the eye sees and how the elements of composition join together to inform perception.
The text is peppered with quotes such as the one above by Edward Weston which drew me back to this image I took the other day. We may never know the meaning of this scene pecked into the rock, but proximity, lines, edges, contrasts, cracks, size and other elements utilized by the artist can draw us into a deeper experience of the artist's intent. I would venture to say that the humans responsible for such portrayals were not likely expressing themselves or concerned with identifying with nature. They were nature. Despite technology and other tools and tales, so are we.
The author writes about elements of projection - nature mirrors me, introjection - I mirror nature, and confluence - nature = me, as pathways toward more integrated and authentic methods of image making. Authentic not in an absolute sense, but in how we relate with ourselves, others, the natural world, and subsequently our outward expression of those relationships. We denigrate projection as a false and self-serving position, yet if used artfully can help us see why we might not want to live there permanently. Introjection is also laughed at as child-like and naive, but repetition and mimicry is how we learn and can help us see why we need to visit that place on occasion. Confluence is the big creamy, dreamy coming together we yearn for yet never find without both utilizing and giving up projection and introjection. Still, it's not a steady state. To park permanently at the confluence would be akin to identity theft.
So we dance - on rocks, with sheep on a ledge, with a camera and the images we take and return.
No comments posted.