Ten levels of intimacy that relate my camera to the world.
See the previous Blog for Part ONE
To understand myself on this beautiful planet
I show the earth with the scars of our species.
OUR SUFFERING PLANET
Our species creeping control over this beautiful planet, now holds suffering in common for many or us and for other species. Amongst us there is now a sense of loss of our place on earth and of the earth itself as a suitable habitat.
WEALTH AND POWER
We know what the barbarians are doing day-by-day, because we see the melting poles, the raging fires, the hungry children, the people who have salvaged only their memories from their washed away lives. We know too that the barbarians are now inside the castle’s keep, and that next our books and films will be burned again, because those works are custodians of all that is fine within humanity, all that instructs, embraces and offers hope, and all that must be erased for the barbarians to increase their grip on wealth and power for as long as this earth and we will allow.
A ROLE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
Our photographs can be about the reality of global warming, impoverished diets and rising hunger, disease and deaths, and also about loving and conversely about insisting that the only way to maintain one’s dignity and humanity is to resist, but also to turn away from their impervious brutal order and to build a new and better alternative. Photography can play a powerful role in this by being frank, clear and truthful, as well as being poetic and beautiful.
Even while I carried my 2 Leica cameras with me on documentary assignments, I always carried my Hasselblad. I couldn’t resist the square format and framing by looking down into the ground-glass. For this photograph, I arrived at a castle-like hotel in Tuscany, looked out of my room’s window at the rear of the hotel and saw what seemed to be a scene from a Nicolas Poussin late 16th century painting. In a far less populated Europe, he showed human activity beginning to encroach on the great untouched forests and plains. This scene of the small terrace and the one chair, left for a contemplative person to sit and admire, rather than to actively slaughter deer and boar herds, to build factories which would poison rivers and lakes, and to gouge mines or slash and burn forests for farmland clearance, reminded me of what there was before we became the dominant species. The small delicate chair against the rolling landscape and cloudbanks offered a metaphor for our collective insanity. It demands symbiosis rather than dominion.
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