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Phroems

Always trying to make the connections between photography and poetry. Where those intersections lie… What makes the POETIC in photography… Sequences? Particular concepts? Theory itself–or its articulation, through photography… An ongoing venture that seeks to locate these intersections, that seeks to find the happening of the poetic in and through the photographic. Form genres to sequentiality’s to narratives, to manifestos and theory, to single images in which poetic emerges… Through many smaller atomic enterprises, various nodes, a variety of micro-endeavors…

I think of them all, in terms of the actual content of the image, the gathering, the putting together, as phroems: photoglyphs and phroems. With photography able to fashion veritable poetic works: whether through the bringing together of images, or through operations wrought upon one or multiple images… ‘Sonnets’, for example or ghazals…  The nature of the poetic totality though could not be a pure analogy with alphabetically-defined poetic genres. Even though I didn’t want to resort to a generic ‘poetic’ness of the photographic image: there had to be more rigor, or more of an attempt, at capting what constitutes the poetic in photography, through its own language. Articulated through itself, and not through a translation, or a critique. The temptation, at first, was to assemble series of images with similar content, and mysterious, enigmatic captings. Too obvious, and it didn’t work… The way was to allow the full range of possibilities, from one image to multiples, and for the poeticness, to come through some overall series of operations: the hanging, the exhibition, the ensemble of the experience of the works… Hybrids, of poem, prose, and photography… with the ultimate point of creating a corpus, that then allows, much later, a potential study of the poetic in photography…

Archiviana, as one of the examples of the photopoetic explorations:

On a trip to Conarneau in 1997, I found a postcard in a shop with four people posing in front of the clock of the encampment at a certain hour. Too god to be true, I then placed the same photograph in the same spot, and took some shots with and without. This was the manifesto of photography, really, the perfect play with presence and absence. And I could even imagine how one could create a ‘project’ dedicated to doing something similar – even though it was not my cup of tea to do that kind of thing (I later read of an artist who was doing just that. Name?) Many years later, in my office at MoMA, I was going through some of my prints that I had recently shown, and something stuck me: the posture of a man in a bus in Santo Domingo (and I remembered exactly where I had taken it), looked eerily similar to a work by… what, what was it that it looked like? Aha, I was just back from the Virginia Musuem of Fine Arts where I had done a workshop: it was … My archives, the world: there was a whole other universe of connections, unknown, somehow… and the process of digging, into what is already there, to create, rather than create, and fashion archives…