Wednesday, March 23, 2005



through a glass darkly



(photo: Josef Koudelka)

I can't exactly remember what st paul's point was in that letter to the corinthians about the differences in perception betwen childhood and maturity, but I've always taken it as meaning that there's an all-too-brief window of clarity, as childhood comes to an end and the realities of adulthood are beginning to emerge, into the real nature of things, which, with the increasing complexities and compromises of adult interrelationships, becomes correspondingly occluded and compromised, so that that clarity of vision is replaced by another, and that we struggle to look through the glass darkly, whereas before it was as clear as if nothing were there between.
I'm reminded of that because I've just noticed that a young man - who describes himself as a poet - from somewhere in Ohio, I think, has named me as his favourite photographer in one of those profile lists in a kind of live journal site called deviant art. furthermore, he's included three of my photographs in his online pinboard-gallery, which wouldn't be remarkable, were it not for the fact that, amongst the twenty or so other photographs in his gallery - all of them interesting, if unfamiliar, images - are two of my own personal faves - one by Henri Cartier-Bresson and the other (I'm looking at it on my own - real - pinboard right now) the amazing photograph of a black dog in the snow at the parc du château de Sceaux by Josef Koudelka (above). my point being that, as far as young Zack of Ohio is concerned, the scoring in his personal pantheon of great photographers of the twentieth century goes Bresson - 1 : Koudelka - 1 : Melancholy Rhino - 3. which is patently absurd, but as thrilling as all Corinthia to someone who regards himself, if truth were told, as one of the twentieth century's most minor, and most disregardable fuckups.
so thank you, Zack, for making my day - however delusional that might be.
one small thing that kind of redresses the imbalance of hubris: whereas he's posted the images, he's not bothered saying who took any of them, so everyone on his board - including Henri and Josef - is rocking in the same boat of web-based anonymity. which is exactly as it should be.

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