Thursday, June 13, 2013

Welcome To This Open Bubble With No Air

This is how it goes down in Brazil:

Popular Photography magazine publishes an edition in Brazil that includes ECHOLILIA. It hits the newstands and subscribers mailboxes. A blog know as HYPENESS grabs it, does a quick Google search, cranks out a small gallery of ECHOLILIA with text and it spreads like wild fire. Suddenly your site is getting 1900 hits a day, for days upon days. Copies of ECHO are selling as never before. Everyone in Brazil is friending you on FB. Parents, teenagers, teachers, very little of it has to do with photography. It seems like it's about something else. The universal greeting, in translation, seems to be "Big Hugs".

The big daily has EPOCA, a weekly magazine. They license the story and it publishes in hard copy. The internet love and hate machine starts all over again. I'm charmed, I'm thankful, but it seems so far away.

I need the love and hate here and now!

Here is a sample:

I know, I am not your friend, but I would like to be.
I know that you don´t know me, but you will... (haunted by your son's pictures)
Welcome to this open bubble with no air, hugs.

I personally would find it sad to use my son as a guinea pig on meaningless photos.

Welcome, my family was very moved and happy with your photos. It's really a wonderful job. I am the father of an autistic and also love taking his picture!
Big hug!!


my good friend
look at the sky
i blinked for your kind face
right now
you can hear my salutation


I recently came upon your 'Echolilia'. I was intrigued by the subject as I work with high schoolers with autism. Spending five days a week seven hours a day with autistic kids, I couldn't help but to feel very moved by your photographs of your son. I know that the initial goal was to find an emotional bridge between you and your son, but I think you also succeeded in translating a certain code to autism. One that shows how people with autism absorb the world through their senses in a completely unique way. Thank you for sharing something so very personal.


I discovered you thanks to the recent Popular Photography issue that features your Echolilia project. I must say, it is a beautiful and very moving project. Also incredibly inspiring ! How many people can take something that is a difficulty ("The series began with capturing habits that had driven Archibald crazy") and turn it into a positive, revealing, incredible thing ("we had this mutual sense of discovery") ?
Bless you for being that person.

I saw your work, and frozen my head.
You are and your son are just amazing.


So is any of this true?
Do people really want to hug me? Are we really "amazing"? Did I really use someone as a guinea pig?

Well no, of course not.

But it is a good example of what can happen when an art project sneaks out of the little art world and somehow reaches the masses. At that point it's not really about art anymore, it's about something else.

And what that is I just don't know, but I thankfully accept it.


Unknown said...

that's so cool. congrats on the success of the project!

brief encounter said...

i've always been fascinated with the human mind, how people really read reality, how different eyes see different things, how different skins feel. i read a lot about autism but youer pictures really made me feel like one. as if that was be possible.

it's a powerful book. it's beyond a study or art. thank you.


(sorry for any mistake but i'm portuguese)