Monday, 12 July 2010

Photographic Memory

This is an exercise in Photographic Memory, or how to relate the same two subjects – in this case, ‘bush and beast’ – in a single image without too much ‘beasting about the bush’; in other words, how to ‘flatten time’. Try - when in the field composing the photograph - to superimpose another photograph, recalled from memory, over the photograph you are about to take.
Later, when comparing the seen – ‘taken’- image with the remembered image – both need to be printed the same size -, measure the distance between bush and beast. If the bush-beast distance is proportional and roughly the same in both images, you possess a Photographic Memory. By way of certification, mount your heads and hang them side-by-side (face-to-face, bush- to-bush), along with the dates they were shot, on the wall.  But be mindful of the sight of horse’s head separated from its body, it can inspire murder.
The sight of a decapitated horse’s head never failed to insight Jarry’s Dr Faustroll, 'to murder'. As the good doctor himself explains: “I do not believe that an unconscious murder is therefore necessarily motiveless: it is not governed by any command emanating from us and has no link with the precedent phenomena of our ego, but it certainly follows an external order, it is within the order of external phenomena, and it has a cause that is perceptible by the senses and is therefore significant…I have never had the desire to kill except after seeing a horse’s head, which has become a sign, or an order, or more precisely a signal, like the down-turned thumb in the arena, that the time has come to strike the blow…The sight of a very ugly object certainly provokes one to do what is ugly… Now, there is no object in the whole world as ugly as the head of a horse, except perhaps that of the grasshopper, which is almost exactly similar without having the gigantic size of the former”.
And as for over-analysing 'bushes in photographs' (as Antonioni’s film, ‘Blowup’, reveals): murderers hide in bushes. Bushes, like decapitated horse's heads, signify death.     

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