Fifi, Blanchard, Haiti. May 2015.

 

Fifi, Blanchard, Haiti. May 2015.

A photograph is many things. To think of it in terms of many facets is too simple. Facets imply reflections, and reflections have been polluted by post- and post-modern theory. To think of a photograph as multiple windows, closer to the truth yes, is also simplistic.

Here, Fifi looks at you, at me, we look at her, look all over ourselves, at the tones, at the diamond shapes, the triangles, openings and endings, the leaves, the edge between fabric and skin. And where do we go? Nowhere and everywhere. Knowing that we can look at endlessly and contradicting what we know about time. Knowing that this is, and that it was. And wondering, in one small corner of the photographic space, if one small part of Fifi sees you looking at her.

Neither window or facet. Neither a moment in time nor an infinity. I saw this in Paul Strands photographs, and here I am, gliding on the work he did in Ghana.

There is no polite way of saying this – po-mo, po-po-mo theorists, you have got it all wrong. Try and explain my sense of shattered when I took this photograph. Or when I look at this. Or when Fifi looks at you. Try to theorize about it. Unless you embrace the poetic in responding, I know you are lost. I know you don’t see this. I know you don’t believe in making the unbelievable believable. [Pindar, First Olympian Ode, For Hieron of Syracuse Single Horse Race 476 B. C.]