The New and the Known

I once told  a friend that I wished I could draw.  She replied that I need only to give myself permission.  The images below are here because of such permissions (thanks Seminar).  An assignment was given to us over our winter recess to confront our lists of things we never do in our work; we were to pick 5 from 50 and do them.  Loosening a bit, that very night I bought a Lumix point and shoot and left the cumbersome routine of my 4×5 camera, tripod and film bag behind.  In the early days of January, I made a trip to Washington D.C..  I planned on making images, but I had no specific direction.  For past work, my travels were precluded by months of research leading me to specific sites that were both out-of-the-way and unwelcoming to photographers.  D.C. was different.  I was a tourist; for the first time my camera was smaller than all the others.  My appetite for images, however, was insatiable.  I made close to 3 thousand in a week.  I was traveling alone (another never), and as the days progressed so did my engagement with my surroundings.  I was taking tours of the Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, visiting museums and seeing monuments.  Such places exist in large part to be seen and photographed; taken as a whole they point to an uncompromising sense of unity and resolve.  The days I spent walking and photographing undid this all-encompassing symbolism and in its place emerged  details, deviant perspectives, color and a different way of working.

One thought on “The New and the Known

  1. there is a sort of mystery and freedom to these. i like them a lot, the line of light and subject really does project a narrative. And it seems unconscious. great job Curtis.

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