not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Friday, November 7, 2014

because one must begin and one must end

18 comments:

  1. i'm fascinated by the varied responses to this series. i want to say little as i don't want to undermine what anyone has contributed. it began in intimacy, as any time alone invariably means intimacy for me, intimacy in being and with self, and so this series developed into questions about being and identity.

    but one thing i consider upon posting this last photograph - i ask myself to consider the two bookend photographs and ask which photo seems more like me. while the first strikes me as a kind of death mask, the last appears to me as the living mask. which is true or truer? where is it that one resides? that which is in between is all and always momentum. is existence then like the note that doesn't exist but in how it rises and falls to become the next one? i think it must be something like this, dust and wind.

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  2. I appreciate your thoughts and feel you must be right. This momentary existence, how every new one brings transformation, and yet we remain seated in the last many moments, conditioned. As far as identity goes, yes, if we could but slough off the cells of our last day's self and start over in the new morning, we might see our self emerge.

    In the photo I see the pores of your face (such amazing detail in this picture), and looking into those pores I look into the self (of you, of me).

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  3. oh, thank you ruth. if i could have willed anything it would have been for you (or anyone) to recognize themselves in this. it is a deceptive barrier to see a photo of someone you know and think it is a photo of them.

    yes, the pores! so often i stare at people, people (i say it again with wonder), composite beings made up of things such as bones and flesh, and things such as absences like pores, unable to understand how a particular person is held in this position.

    but i wonder, ruth, if we sloughed off our historical cells if anything at all would remain. but then maybe something would remain but be faceless, invisible, but for a flux in air, and perhaps this is the true self, only the opportunity for the coalescence of history.

    xo
    erin

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  4. All of them make me wonder. I wonder if you would like the you that I have created for me from the bits of you that you have presented.

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    1. steven, i dare say i would like her more than this me that i fumble around inside of. the me that you have constructed is your creation, a kind of artistic rendering of a composite set of ideas.

      i like how you make things.

      and i don't have to like the she that you have created. only the idea of her. (it becomes less personal for me then.)

      now, another question, do i exist here inside my own perceptions? one person's point of view? or do i exist in the multitude of perceptions? there are certainly more of you than me. my truth must be outnumbered.

      xo
      erin

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    2. I see this series as the many facets/faces of Erin...some days gorgeous, others, average. I so relate! After seeing this, I looked at a series of photos of myself over the past ten years...it was both enlightening and horrifying. Pain makes me ugly...I don't know any other way to express it...the extra weight, the pallor of my skin, the frown lines...and yet. And yet...In my mind's eye I am forever 40, my favorite age. A stranger looks back at me in the mirror and I'm trying to love her: sags, bags & all. I never knew how much the loss of my sex appeal (for lack of a better phrase) would affect me. I was never a vain person, but after menopause, it was like a light was turned off and now I'm stumbling around in the dark, lost and confused and invisible, trying to stay alive...xo

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    3. oh, it is strange, perhaps most especially for women, bearers of life who are defined us as such and then have this taken from them. perhaps it is up to us, marion, then to widen the definition of what it is to be a woman. maybe we must articulate the wider truth, open the dialogue of what we are beyond estrogen. i am excited and nervous and excited again to see what i am, we are, beyond this.

      and too, we must face our ugliness and invert it, widen and deepen what is beautiful, how we perceive it in ourselves and in the world. this is no easy task. i am ugly too. often. but mostly i recognize that i am only beautiful (if i can be so bold, and it is not easy for me to use this word to describe myself personally) if i am beautiful inside, if i am generous with myself. and this only happens when i feel continuous with the beautiful world, when i have broken down structure and barrier.

      you stumble around confused and lost but not invisible. i see you even in the dark. and i kiss your bruised feet as you stumble into furniture and a language of ideas that does not express back to you like a mirror the beauty you deserve to see.

      xo
      erin

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  5. i find your reference to...the note that doesn't exist but in how it rises and falls to become the next one... or, ...but for a flux in air, and perhaps this 'is' the true self, that these are the intriguing words that for me most reflect the images you've portrayed in this series. i didn't make comment on the others because i didn't quite understand your motivations or intent until this one and now your referenced annotations.

    i find that coming from a spiritual place somewhat because of my indian lineage and now because of my wanting to delve into my personal/individual connection to my existence, have located, albeit temporal, that by utilizing all my mundane and supernatural sentient faculties i can come to realize my being as part of the 'one'.

    gracias for taking me into this introspection with your series

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    1. but nene, my intent is besides the point, although you honour me by giving it attention.

      but yes, your quest - this is in fact what you are. this is what projects you from one moment to the next, each note that you are in transition, creating this particular voice and song which is your hymnal of being. i see you. i hear you. you hook yourself through time, through wind. it's a beautiful way to be.

      xo
      erin

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    1. dirk, i often find myself laughing. i say, thank you, but i have to admit, i want you to tell me something more about yourself, or your world.

      xo
      erin

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  7. Je viens de regarder à l'instant, l'ensemble de tes auto-portraits. Avons-nous le choix de nous trouver, de façon éphémère certes, entre la naissance et la mort. N'est-ce pas le mouvement qui nous sauve provisoirement de cette course contre l'effacement de nous-même. Je dirais ainsi, que dans les premières photos, tes tentatives d'effacement de ton visage traduisent une inquiétude face à la vie qui va trouver une solution dans le dernier portrait. Là, tu nous dis, " oui, j'en suis rendue là dans ma vie et je vous demande de me regarder ainsi ". J'aurais envie de te dire que ton voyage n'est pas terminé mais qu'il peut l'être à la seconde future. C'est ce constat terrifiant de la mort imminente, dit autrement, notre finitude, que tu te réfugies pour continuer ta vie. Tu proclames ainsi dans tes travaux " Si je ne fais rien, je mourrai, et si je fais quelque chose, aussi, mais j'ai décidé d'exister par mes photographies et je le fais".
    Personnellement, j'aime ta démarche.
    Amitiés.

    Roger

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    1. yes, roger, movement and time saves us and obliterates us. thank god for the cruelty of it or nothing would have any significance at all.

      but you speak about my efforts at erasing my face and i have to respond by saying i had/hvae no effort, rather it is only what the world renders. i have so very little strength to exert myself in any way. i only have this face by accident. it reflects light or doesn't.

      perhaps it is foolish but something from a popular movie often comes to mind. have you ever watched the spiderman movies? i laugh here heartily at myself. my son was absolutely fascinated with them for many years. but there is one scene which had such grave significance for me, sandman forming and unforming, sand coalescing into form and releasing form, animation taking place between the particles, which are so much emptiness but for the slightest breath of form.

      yes, if we do nothing we will die. if we do something we will die. then, always, the question, which something to do we do? oh! i can't help but then note the video roxana sends us to. why not raise ourselves into the form of a body and be bold, lovely, alive. containers of desire. and then otherwise.

      and what do you do, roger? you raise stones to fall again. but what form in the meantime! what body! what voice!

      xo
      erin

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  8. i wish i had words to echo this quest of one's self... but i don't have words, maybe there are no words? maybe just an image, or music? somehow this comes to mind, and i thought of you while being torn apart by it, yet with such agonizing tenderness - i needed to share it with you, and i understood i was responding to this series of yours, which had been much with me lately... (not only to this, to _you_, completely, overwhelmingly you)

    https://vimeo.com/62937311

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    1. my response is so much larger than this but this is my response upon first finishing the video one day after i began:

      ohjesusgod, I finish the video now (but the video never ends, does it?!) and I am nearly bereft for not having a body that can move like that for surely our bodies should be able to move like that as it feels they are moved through their entire lives toward and with desire to be realized as such!!!)))))))))))))))))) I am breathless. and hurt. and hurt more.

      outside the snow slows and I understand this is a body moving.

      and there are people such as you in the world moving like this?

      and I understand there are. that you are. and it hurts in the best way possible)))

      xo
      erin

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  9. Me olvido por un momento de los retratos y me quedo con esa imagen del polvo y el viento, una combinación perfecta, una imagen maravillosa, que lo envuelve todo.
    La última foto, cierra un ciclo, puede ser la máscara de la vida, pero una máscara como los retratos de "El Fayum", un rostro vivo pero en tránsito.

    Un abrazo

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"Words at the limit of hearing, attributable to no one, received in the conch of the ear like dew by a leaf." (philippe jaccottet) or even a quiet presence is appreciated))