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Thursday, September 16, 2004

too tired to be clever

that's the thing, about fatigue. it makes it impossible to cover your shit. you start getting by, not getting ahead. feels like childhood since i had a full night of uninterupted sleep. maybe longer. maybe since moses or some shit.

and i'm all a gangle just now. it's funny how quick your shit unpacks itself and sets up in the living room if you don't keep the lid closed. one day you're hummin, the next day you can't get to the bathroom. not for nothing you can't.

you know that shit is comin out whether you get there or not, right?

metaphor people. metaphor.

god asked me last night, in the course of our normal conversation, if i wanted to be a photographer or not. She asked because i was commenting i havent acted in a year, and how i miss it. and we argued for a bit about devotion and focus and all those highly intangible but clearly iconized scenarios.

and i didn't have an answer.

god asks you shit, you should know what you think.

but i don't. i sure like the photography. the pictures, the making them. the energy, emotion and the act. but there is as much pretense in the world of photography as in theatre, and i'm a pretense addict. a recovering pretense addict.

i'm instinctively drawn to situations which are artificial. and nothing is more real than true art, nothing as fake as an artist.

nothing as unsullied as the intuitive moment of releasing the shutter. the click and the pause. nothing as bankrupt as explaining they why, the meaning and the marrow. nothing as disgusting as pretending that somehow through conscious will i created something unique. will is not unique. it's bland and commonplace.

what is unique in this uncertain life is the ability to embrace our intuition. a willingness to take the chance that we could be wrong, completely wrong. it has it's own rewards and marked among them you will not find the esteem of others. Biopics and vinne del torro portraying the heartfelt and earnst angst of the tortured creator. none of that.

the act of photographing something, painting something, drawing something, acting something, is a surrender of the will in a way that to my eye, creates a legitimate vulnerability in the creator. we are bold or stupid enough to surrender our honesty to your whims and moods.

it follows quite naturally that the arts which demand the greatest vulnerability are hijacked by pretense. coating the creator in a thick veneer as they wade through the "real" world. made distinct and separate. not just another man or woman, rather a visionary, a master. driven by spirits and thoughts unfound in the average man, or woman.

almost nothing appeals to my particular bent more, and almost nothing disgusts me more.

to build a backstory around something, to create a pattern or meaning, a pathos and setting is to rob the very thing created of it's only true impact. when you as another person engage it honestly.

you cannot if you are lied to by the setup. by the placement or the academic couching of abstract ideas or themes.

the church makes the truly dangerous men and women saints. it knows from thousands of years of hearding the masses, the last thing you want is someone else to believe they are no different than someone who changed the world.

and photography, or theatre, or any of the arts mostly, are also uncontrollably inclined to deify their more apt students.

god forbid everyone who picks up a camera should be able to create meaningful, engaging, interesting, fun, exciting work. What then would the pundits and magazine publishers do to put fat on their hips.

fuck all that bullshit.

you either look at a photo and it moves you or you don't. I don't care if god herself, or hitler, or the shoeshine guy on the third floor of your building took it. and you shouldn't either. respect the work. respect the meaning and burn anyone who dares complicat it, or remove you from it, burn those fuckers in the warm furnace of your heart.

so do i want to be a photographer?

i want to eat, and sleep, and laugh and feel. i want to be a part of this time and this world, and to do so i need money. if i spend the next hundred years taking photos there is no promise that the last one i take would be any better --aside from the technical perfection, which is artless and pefunctory-- than the very first i took. the measure of the art is not calculated by accruing talent or skill. it's in the heartfelt honesty of engagement. each release of the shutter, anew, is once again an opportunity to get right with life and engage.

and each photo you see, in passing, or in place, is an opportunity to engage for a moment. turn off your brain, flush the clever art school fucks and their theory down the toliet, and just look. look. do you feel something? anything? no. move on. yes? great. celebrate that momentary connection in its contrast to the tidal flow of disconnection human life has become.

celebrate the connection yourself. perhaps, if you feel strongly, help put food in the belly of the woman or man who brought that your way, but, never celebrate the photographer. if he needs your celebration he did not celebrate the connection made when the photo was captured and his loss is eternal. no amount of praise will restore that.

save your empty words. speak with your heart. maybe together we can find something real, something of value, in an otherwise random stream of information and experience.

Posted by ruzz on September 16, 2004 at 04:09 PM in i didnt choose to be human | Permalink


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