Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Believing is Seeing"

This is a photo of a Teslertown (Kewanna), Indiana storefront.  I wanted to paint it as it has nearly everything I like in subject: peeling paint, odd shapes and most of all, major quirkiness. But the longer I tried to translate it onto canvas, the more I lost my nerve. You see, the cars are not a reflection in the window.  They are actually inside the building.  This raises all sorts of questions, like how did they get in through that  door.  Or, better, why are they in there? 
Which is a roundabout way of getting to the point of this blog.  A book review in Sunday's Washington Post featured Errol Morris' book "Believing is Seeing".  The book is based on his blog in the New York Times.  Quoting the review: "Facts matter in the way that photographs matter: They tell us something but never reveal the whole story.  Photographs edit reality: they conceal even as the reveal....A photograph 'brings time forward, but also compresses it, collapses it into one moment.'  It is a moment that is found in the image but lost to the present.  'Eternally trapped in the present, we are doomed to perpetually walk 'in front' of the past."

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