Thursday, 11 November 2010

Clockwork

I go from one umbrella, to another, swap three pizza boxes and three signs, for three clocks showing two different times: in no time at all I’m down amongst the cobbled streets of Teutonic Freiburg, where time has stood still.
A quarter of a century ago I photographed (clocked) this pipe-smoking Mr. Time, twice a day, for a week. I’d be there just after ten in the morning, and be back again just after seven in the evening, to take a photograph (he also carries another three clocks on the other side of his back, showing three different times again when viewed from the right, but I chose to ignore these times - I would have been coming and going all day!). Time dictated the images. This is important because at that time I wouldn’t have been seen dead photographing wing-mirrors: photographs of reflections in car wing-mirrors are clich├ęs. 
But one sunny morning in April 1985, at four minutes past ten, a wing-mirror shadow screamed, ‘pipe’. Looking at it now, I see the wing-mirror as a fourth clock – a sundial, a sun-scream to the pipe-scream. And Mr. Time, he could do with a coat of the varnish – the wood equivalent of sun cream. And doesn't a parasol cast the same shadow as an umbrella? 

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