Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Warning: May Contain Cave-Woman Nudity

August 17, 2008

While in New York City this week I decided to stop by the American Museum of Natural History. In the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins I encountered this disturbing installation showing a simpler time when we were vulture-fearing, antelope-guarding bipeds… like actors caught in the changing room on the set of Planet of the Apes.

but what interested me more than the dioramas were the interplays between visitors to the museum and the displays.

I felt like a little kid- seeing dinosaurs, meteorites, clothing and objects from faraway cultures… excited and intrigued.

I Think I’m Falling for You

July 26, 2008

On conservative estimate the average person takes a bout 3,000 steps per day; that means that each day one experiences 3,000 tiny, controlled falls. Every time you take a step, you lean forward and fall slightly, and are caught by your outstretched foot. If you failed to put your foot forward, you would fall flat on your face. After your foot touches the ground, your body’s weight is transferred to it and your knee bends to absorb the shock. The front leg then lifts the body and propels it forward as the rear leg swings up to catch you again, and the cycle repeats.

Above some artists (left to right: Marc Chagall, Li Wei, Kerry Skarbakka, Denis Darzacq, Sam Taylor Wood, Stanley Forman) provide their observations on that moment where the body is dislocated from its connection to the ground. Unlike the myclonic jerks of sleep flight or falling, these pieces show the grace and fluidity of bodies removed from the ceiling and floor of relative gravity. The Icarusian desire to fly with such seeming grace undercuts its impossibility and the dangers of impact. Regardless, they are fleeting moments of serene beauty, the kind of falls we almost let ourselves take 3,000 times a day.

Trying to embrace the beauty of a fall in perpetuity.

Big Dig

July 24, 2008

I had spent a week in NYC before leaving for a three-week stay in Boston. Beantown brought with it the chance to catch up with some friends and provided what was tantamount to hospice care for someone like me, dying in the “real world.” It also provided some quiet days, allowing me to write, create… and wonder- what would Nair do to a grown man? In an effort to find an answer (former foreign correspondent) Aviv bravely disrobed and valiantly volunteered himself for the grand experiment. A rhesus monkey called Scatback flew a sub-orbital flight on December 20, 1961 but was lost at sea after landing. Much like Scatback, Aviv was a hairy pioneer of territories uncharted; but while Scatback is still lost somewhere out at sea, Aviv has found himself in his own private sea of hairless glory and minor chemical burns.

The rest of the Boston trip went swimmingly, but was cut a bit short as I returned to New York City last night for an interview.

The Price Is Right

June 19, 2008

It is always nice to know that you sometimes cross someone’s mind. Today at 2:50pm EST from 41.979˚ N / 87.902˚ W, I crossed Hannah Price’s mind. This makes me smile.

One Dollar

April 11, 2008

I want to trade dollars with you. I found mine on Wednesday. I will have small, signed and numbered prints available for $1.00

It’s quite simple, I give you one dollar you give me $1.00

If interested contact me: jsolitrin@yahoo.com

or simply send a SASE +$1 to 58 Polder Dr. / Langhorne PA/ 19053

April Seconds

April 3, 2008

It is the first Wednesday in April. I made something for you.

cloudontheground1.jpg

The story ends at the start of the day.

Long Distance Call

April 3, 2008

While waiting for a train out of NYC I was sitting on the floor of the overcrowded station next to a woman on a cell phone. “Amen, Hallelujah!,” she repeated over and over again. nothing else. I couldn’t help but wonder who was on the other end of the line.

    trainhalo.jpg

    A view through the window of the train.

    Quantum Meet

    March 31, 2008

    Arising from an earlier post and open letter to David Horvitz, a small project came together. David and I agreed to meet on Wednesday, March 26th; the meeting, however, was slightly less than conventional. David is living in New York city and I am 250 miles away in Rochester, NY. So, in lieu of a physical meeting, we agreed to sit down for a cup of coffee from 10:30 until 11:00 am (EST), writing down any thoughts and sending each other our respective side of the “conversation” and a photograph made during the meeting.

    letterdhorvitz.jpg

    My note reads:

    Triple Bean / Medium / Two Sugars

    If I close one eye, I can take $9 off the price of a Rochester Athletic Club membership as listed on a billboard across the street.

    Thought about the spring thaw and the return to above-freezing temperatures –

    The way numbed senses return when the sun comes out and the snow begins to melt and smells, kept in check since late November, finally release themselves into the air.

    The idea of two locations touching at the same time.

    See Reverse

    March 23, 2008

    Recently, I have been trying to organize and restore some old family photographs. The lot of photographs includes some cabinet cards made before the family left the Russian Empire. Aside from my own history, one thing that interests me is the attention to design and craftsmanship of the cabinet cards. A photograph was not simply a snapshot, it was a handheld monument, and it is easy to see by just looking at the reverse of these cards. Beautifully engraved plates containing the photographer’s name and the location of the portrait studio accompany illustrations of a photographic muse and homages to the patriarchs of photography: Talbot, Daguerre, and Niépce. They are much different than the photo-back datestamp on your one-hour photo prints. There is a certain pride and authenticity to these photographic objects that I do not feel is accessible today. The village photographer- the keeper of memories, the recorder of history, a silent storyteller… the giver. My thoughts serve as my quiet thank you to the unsung heroes- the village photographers; as they pay their respects to the fathers of photography on the back of their images, I owe my investment in photography to them.

    backphotocards.jpg

    If I Write About You On This Blog.

    March 20, 2008

    David Horvitz presents, “Things for sale that I will mail you” which is possibly the single best use of Paypal ever. Humor, thoughtfulness, curiosity, and creativity manifest themselves in a sort of poetic quirkiness that DH has thrown out into the world.

    I just shot a polaroid and sealed it in an envelope before it started developing. Whoever opens the envelope will see it for the first time.
    His work deals not just with commerce and exploration, but also with temporality, futility, and distance- tying the whole lot together with an appreciation for semiotics and irony.
    I especially enjoy how he has made games out of projects, or are they projects out of games?
    Furthermore: A personal note to DH
    DH-
    Perhaps it is possible for us to meet sometime… over a cup of coffee and guarded conversation. I can tell you about the overturned tractor-trailer I saw last week… how it lay on its side like a dinosaur, frozen and dusted with snow. The agony of a heavy thing unable to right itself, a skeleton, a monument. Function turned 90 degrees. OR I can ask you what your favorite word is… OR we could just set a time (EST), show up alone each to our own coffee shop- enjoy a very one-sided / two-way conversation, and send each other a photo of our respective empty cups.
    Kindly,
    -JS