Circumstance Dictates Course
pt3. (Restriction Brings Enlightenment)
Continued from the previous post:
And then, 2020: COVID-19 and government-ordered isolation.
I was already in an Empathy Loop, feeling the loss of my memories. A post-dementia experience with a relative had me unraveled. My paradigm of self was shaken and weak as a result. I wondered about the fragile assumptions we all carry of ourselves and our lives, of the permanence of our identities—about the life stories we tell that define who we are, markers of our prior existence to our current moment and age—about who we are when we lose our memories of self and the others to whom we relate and measure our worldly time. With those memories gone, who are we? Who are we but for our memories other than the most basic of animals? And what if all we know, we can’t recall?
A great existential freak-out for me.
I was already struggling with this identity paradigm shift when Las Vegas was mandated closed. And now, all my usual locations are no longer available for picture resource mining. The one thing that balances me—creating visual images and making art—was stopped. I again found myself in that situation of having nowhere to make my multiple exposures. Furthermore, isolated by mandate and a stoked fear, I could feel an overbearing sense of external behavior modification being implemented.
I needed to take the work I started with the triple exposures photo abstractions to a conclusion, but I had already resourced Vegas architecture, the monorail, and signage. Nature didn’t work for me. And now, quarantined in my studio space, I had no resources to multiple-expose abstract photos. Again, circumstances interfered with my creative progress.
I figured I had time on my hands and would study all the photo magazines I had been given years ago but never had the time to sit with and enjoy. So with nobody working due to the shutdown, this would be a vacation where I could do the leisurely things I always thought I might do if faced with free time. My library was full of things I had learned from and been inspired by. I would replenish myself with all the art history I had forgotten
Sitting on the floor by the front door where the light shone romantically from a side window, I sank in with a stack of gifted Aperture magazines to begin my reorientation with my past and the legacy of great photographers and artists.
It only took fifteen minutes before I realized that all the things I was finding in the vintage stores, books, magazines, glasses, and bric-à-brac were no different than what was in my studio. I started gathering what I considered implementable resources into piles and stacks, depleting my supply of sticky notes.
Before this time, I had pulled my triple exposures from various environments through discovery abounding in an ever-changing world guided by the principle that I would change or arrange nothing—only shoot things as I found them—an observational, journalistic approach. Now I was shifting to being a bit more intentional. I would change to a more deliberately targeted style of shooting.
I started photographing the objects and pictures proximal to me and in proximity to each other selectively from my cache of permanent personal resources. These resources from which I had formed my ideas, been inspired, and shaped my thoughts and beliefs throughout my years.
These were now the muses of my imaginative play.
(continued in part 4 — conclusion ).
- Hello & WelcomeGreetings to the new blog portion of lefever.com
- In The BeginningCuriosity bred invention that became quite the creative journey and developed an understanding of human perception.
- Another Type Of SeeingBuilding on my previous post and making a memoir of how this multi-exposure style developed.