In Plato’s cave allegory we are bound and can only see images of the shadows cast by statues of real things. As we free our minds, we first discover that we are looking at mere images, shadows. Next we discover that the shadows are cast not by the real but by statues, imitations of the ideals which they represent. Only when we emerge from the cave do we discover the world of real things.
with apologies to Joseph Kossuth
The day after we went to Paris Photo we went to the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris and got tickets to the Zoe Leonard exhibit, Al río / To the River, recommended by classmates who had seen it the day before. It’s an immense show that goes on and on for rooms and rooms, vast expanses of white space, perhaps conveyed by the images above. We arrived late morning and were, initially, the only ones there, other than the guards. I was almost more impressed at the opportunity to wander through the vast, empty white space of the museum (reminiscent of my trips to NY’s Metropolitan as a kid, when it was often so empty you could go bowling without disturbing anyone) than I was by the photographs.
The images look at the US/Mexico border area, as loosely defined by the Rio Grande/Bravo. On each wall is a series of pictures, looking at a particular scene, over the course of time (seconds, or minutes, I would guess). Some of these are very affecting; cumulatively, they certainly are. But I was unable to guess at the reason for some of them. One entire room was dedicated to pictures of the swirling water taken, perhaps, over the side of a bridge. While they are far from identical, they are all the same. Another follows a man on horse from a distance, behind, as he travels a short way. The final room is a series of color pictures of a laptop showing security footage of people crossing a barbed-wire-surrounded bridge. No indication of whether this is a public website, or if she’d been granted access to a security control room. Beyond the brochure materials about the exhibit (shown at the link above) there are no placards, captions or other text to explain what you’re looking at or why – which is, in itself, a kind of statement, I suppose. I confess, I didn’t quite know what to make of it. Of course, the same might be said of my series of images of the exhibit.
As always, click any image to see them all full-size.
These pillars link the Palais de Tokyo to the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris. I was struck by the strong light behind them, the wide shadows they were casting and how the shadows linked to the row of all black motorcycles but I couldn’t quite find the angle I wanted.
Some more candidates for the Pound haiku?
Some scaffolds on the Trocadero steps. Love locks seem to be popular – souvenir hawkers have them at the ready.
In the harsh midday light, I thought this might make a decent, high contrast, black & white image, if rather pedestrian.
Everywhere we went in Paris (and we were mostly in the touristy 16th Arrondissement), there were people photographing themselves by the Seine, particularly engaged couples with professional photographers along, especially with the Seine and the Eiffel Tower in the background. This woman was walking with a companion and a photographer and stopped to get photographed with the swan.
*with apologies to Joseph Kossuth
Came upon this interesting, fabric-textured ceramic, so I took a shot of it; then pulled back for some context so one could see the wall of the bridge support it was on, then pulled back even more so one can see where that bridge is. I couldn’t find any information on what it was, who its creator was or anything. Beautiful. Click any of the images to see them all enlarged to full size.
Another possible candidate for the haiku project?