Monday, August 13, 2007

Pictures From Home

So what is with all these weird images of my kid?

I'm not sure myself. I do feel like I'm trying to create, with photographs, a map, a diagram, a sentence that somehow communicates all the stuff that arises when dealing with my 5 year old boy. Wonder, discovery, emotional chaos, and a feral sense of physical randomness are the words I use when trying to describe the project to myself or others. The pictures may be communicating something else...I just don't know yet.

Raising kids, for me, is intense. Always a struggle. Totally fascinating and rewarding, but the rewards don't come easy. I've always been confused by photographers who depict the whole child experience with Hallmark Card emotions. I think it shortchanges both the kids and the parents: it doesn't allow the children the complexity of emotions that they have, and it doesn't really touch on the whole flesh and blood, for-better-and-for-worse qualities of the experience.

Yes, I so love it when my kids are giggling and running down the beach. But these other emotions are just a bit more interesting to try to touch on and explore. Wish me luck.


Anonymous said...

well what does he think about them? or making them for that matter, is it fun for him, interesting, a game, or does he see it as something he has to do for dad, like taking out the garbage or brushing his teeth? does he know they are all online now, does he know what that means even, practically and emotionally? what does he say when you show them to him or do you? etc etc.

Timothy Archibald said...

Good questions for sure. Right now, when we are doing the photographs, it's kind of a is never a found moment. We grab some things to interact with and undoubtably he comes up with some physical thing that I'd never really be able to direct a person to do...its just inherently from the brain of a 5 year old. But of course, I'm setting up the structure and interpreting the photographs, so he isn't really a part of that whole thing. Sometimes he's not into it, sometimes its a way to nix boredom, sometimes it is like playing. He doesn't really understand what the internet is. I did ask him to do something for a photograph once, and he refused, saying he'd rather think of something that was cooler than what my idea was.

favrot - the t is silent said...

rock on tim - i'm glad you are taking these seriously - i always find anonymous comments not only annoying but unfair - tim doesn't bite and you shouldn't have to hide - your guts are in your belly, use 'em or lose 'em.

(himself) said...

My kids complained constantly about the photo intrusion in their lives. For me the payoff came about when I found a Hallmark high school graduation card that featured him as a boy--for his own high school graduation.

Timothy Archibald said...

I really got no problems with Anonymous postings...anything that gets a dialogue going is all good to me.
Another reader posted that I wasn't really being honest about the emotions this kid stuff is dealing with. Could be true. Wonder is on the good side, total loss of judgement and utter frustration is often on the bad side...and all of the stuff in between.

Herdingcats said...

This image is very fertile. I just saw the short film "Mother Superior" which is available through Itunes, a documentary about meth use among mothers. Evidently, kids are locked in closets so that they don't see what mom is doing. I know that this is NOT what is happening in this photo, but I'm imagining a child, half-naked, hungry, in a small room, praying for his mom to become well again.

Great image. How did you two come up with it?

Timothy Archibald said...

Real interesting observation, Herdingcats. I love the idea that a photo is "fertile", tho I've never used that word before.

The image came about as such. It was quiet time, his brother and Mom were asleep in the afternoon and he and I were up playing on the floor. I asked him to lay down under the lamp to make some photographs. He did, and they were fine, but kind of predictable...they looked like some kind of stock photo. We took a break to look at the shots ( digital ) and he got back into it doing these kind of feral stretches in front of the lite, mimick-ing the lite, the lite hitting him dramaticly, just all these things I never could have directed. We stopped, looked at the shots together, tried to do more, then ended the shoot.
There is something I like about the random ness and un calculated nature of these things he comes up with. I think it helps these shots to feel feral or something, at their best. I like the word "fertile" as well, but "feral" is probably what I'm hoping for.

Again, Herdingcats, thanks for posting. Do I know you? From Schenectady? Lemme know!