April last year I bought a new camera, first new one in ten or twelve years. An easy one-handed snap-shooter. The plan was to shoot random stuff and see what developed.
I haven’t done a project this open-ended since I was a young man. Back then I revelled in chaos, randomness and a devil-may-care outlook. For at least the past twenty years, though, I’ve set geographic and/or demographic parameters for myself to, you know, tone down the confusion.
Well anyway, I got off to a good start, if “good” means consistently shooting a bunch of random stuff. But after a while I got bogged down, confused, maybe even a little bit pissed off. Nothing I was doing made any sense. It didn’t add up.
There were a few fleeting moments when I thought I had caught a glimpse of what this project might be about. I put a bit of effort into sequencing some images, to see what I had been doing, but it just didn’t pan out. I couldn’t find a handle.
Then, over the holidays I said to myself, I said, Tony, have a solid look at what you’ve done so far. Pick ten that feel right, put ’em into a row, shuffle them around, reshuffle, add and subtract images, re-reshuffle, repeat as required, find the thread. Begin, goddammit.
So I did. And now, after nine months of effort and aimlessness, I think I’ve finally figured it out, realized what I’ve been working towards, where I want this to go . . .
As I mentioned above, all my previous projects were rooted, somehow, in the specific location or demographics I was photographing. But that’s not what’s important here. This project is not about any specific location or demographic, in fact it’s not about the exterior world at all. It’s an interior view.
Of course it’s all tenuous at this point, and my thinking about the way forward, about the permutations and possibilities, is very bare-bones. But my thoughts now have a foundation on which to build.
In the meantime . . . this sequence is my first glimpse at the way forward. Into the inside.
(Best viewed enlarged on a big monitor. Click the first one for the slide show.
But I know that, these days, that’s probably asking too much.)
DAVE HEATH- In Concert For The Silent Witness
Though best known for A Dialogue with Solitude (1965), American photographer Dave Heath (1931-2016) spent his latter years in Toronto, teaching and photographing.
His good friend, Michael Schreier, was left with the archive of colour photos Dave was working on towards the end of his life. A selection of these works will be on display at Studio Sixty Six. Opening January 9th and continuing until February 9th.
Not to be missed. All the details here.