Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How Do You Know When Ur Done?

Constellation, 2009

Doing Everybody Else Week last week was great, and I thought of all this stuff to blog about myself, but right now it all escapes me.

A friend who never really looks at photography was looking at Echolilia and commented that it seems like The Age Of Reason has set in...Eli doesn't appear as feral or as fragile, he is older and solid. He just doesn't look like the same kid as he does in the early images. That might be telling me something...I might be near the end.

And then I'm haunted by the advice that came from Thomas Schirmboeck, curator at Zephyr Mannheim Museum in Germany: As a book, its a book without words. Present this with no words. None at all. You need to let the viewer find his way to make sense of the series in the same way the kid might be finding his way on his own terms.

The last comment seemed to fit and feel right on. I always felt the missing link in this project was some text that I'd write that would put it all together. Maybe that is not meant to be. Maybe the images need to do the work here and its a silent story. When I read his words...it seemed to ring true.


Anonymous said...

Funny, I thought the whole idea of making pictures was as a substitute for whatever other forms of communication one might partake in. All of your photos come without words--otherwise they might be movies or some such. I wouldn't give a fig for photos that needed explanations. It would be a sign of failure.

Timothy Archibald said...

Anony- I hear you, but if you are doing a book...lots of books really come together due to the things you can do with a book: words, design, pacing, that type of stuff. Already this project is pairing objects and straight images, so it is using the "spread" concept of a book to communicate.

I think I always thought this project needed some text to help people make sense of it, or to give my kid a voice in the thing. I thought it needed some unknown thing to make it complete, and suspected words would be it.

Just giving you the backround, not trying to be defensive.

stuart rayner said...

Eli is the driver surely Tim , he'll let you know when it's time to pull over .
Great project .

DAC said...

I agree with stuart about who's in control here. You can read it in the process without doubt. If you're forcing it, you'll see.

On the text, I wouldn't rule it out. Make some go at figuring out what you want to say - if it can't be done, it can't be done. You'll know that too.

SIrfenn said...

As much as I enjoy the images as stand alone message, (especially the recent nest image) it would seem a shame not to add a layer by including some intriguing thought. The written word is an obvious gift for you and not all artist can say that. Again the art may be in the edit.

Anonymous said...

"...lots of books really come together due to the things you can do with a book: words, design, pacing, that type of stuff."

No one denies that wrapping presents in colorful paper and a pretty bow somehow amps up the anticipation. Unless I'm mistaken, you'd be pretty disappointed to open the package and find more bows and paper.

Timothy Archibald said...

oh,no...i'm not referring to what color the font is. i'm referring to words, text, writing...there have been photo books that used words to great effect:
Suburbia by Bill Owens
Rich and Poor by Jim Goldberg
Tulsa by Larry Clark
and this new one I like, Deformer by Ed Templeton.
These books don't use a ton of words, the words are sparse and carefully selected....but they make all the difference to how i appreciate the book and what i get from it.
with all due respect, is that the wrapping paper you are referring to or are we discussing two different things?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, words are the metaphorical equivalent to paper and bows. I'll concede on Templeton. I could pretty much figure out Suburbia and Tulsa without the eye cheaters, but in the case of Goldberg the pictures actually need the words, otherwise...z-z-z-z-z.