Blake – Banyan Tree

Blake – Banyan Tree

Banyan Tree. Temple. India. 1995
Platinum-palladium print on vellum from 8×10 inch negative

Thanks to frequent prods and nudges from my dear friend Chris Bucklow, I am thinking about the relevance of William Blake’s work on photography. This comes also from a synchronistic sequence of events. Last night, I heard an excellent talk by Sylvie Fortin about the globalization of art, and curatorial practice. She began her presentation with (my understanding of her talk:) the rise of criticism during the mid 1700’s, which, for me, not only defined the push-back a few decades later by William Blake, but also established the ‘logic’ for the quagmire of art practice that we now find ourselves in. Another nudge came from Robin Gillander’s reference to a piece by Paul Graham, entitled ‘Photography is Easy‘. And yet another from a letter by a dear penpal friend (yes, that still happens in this age of easy travel and Skype) that arrived yesterday:

Photography is difficult in its content, but not so  in its craft; photography is difficult because its secret hides mainly in a reflection, in an emotional and intellectual response to the world, and much less in a talented labor and execution. – letter from Urs Bernhard

And the quote from my last post (from the book by Kathleen Raine which arrived as a precious gift from Chris Bucklow a few weeks ago):

‘I would no more question my eye than I would question a window concerning sight. I look through it, not with it.’ – William Blake (from Kathleen Raine’s excellent “Golgonooza: City of Imagination – Last studies in William Blake”