Through the looking glass

 Posted by on May 9, 2012  Add comments
May 092012
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A frustration with creativity block and suddenly I'm back there. Back with the glass, and a reminder that all is not what it seems.
What is glass?
“A way of seeing time passing”.
One can look forward and backward at the same time. Apparently in one place. Or not. It does strange things to the sight. Warps reality. Reveals and obscures. Changes perception of space and, if you're Alice, everything. A metaphor for the step into the subconscious.
I have long had a  fascination with glass, and particularly it's references for us as photographers. It's an integral part of the way most of us work now, and was essential in early photography at both ends of the camera. Like the glass negative, I print my pictures on glass.
I came into the city to sit with these double exposures; for that is exactly what they are; and see what they had to tell me. It has been with increasing frustration that I've admired the multiple exposures you Nikon users (yes, you know who you are!) present here and longed for my DSLR to be able to do what my film camera could (and did). Windows may not give me quite that freedom but they're on the way.
Earlier I'd been reading about the Magnum Ideas Tap Photographic Award winner Maria Gruzdeva's concept related to ideas around our sense of identity. It seems that was the prompt to stop at  this particular window. It's been here forever, and ever, as long as I can remember. 
Time passing.
I sat and looked into and through the window at life being overlaid upon the fantastical tableau behind it. It reminded me of a scatter graph, of a coat of arms, of dreams, and of Alice. And, “just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there”.  If I stepped through, where would I find myself? Scary thought, given the contents. More especially if this window becomes a metaphor for my subconsious.
The glass itself has it's own patina of time passing, remnants of others' connection with it, a emulsion that helps develop the image I see. There is a lot in this picture, the present, the future, and the past. Very much of the past, in the background. Much of what's in front of me it can't be seen easily; it's overlaid by the other life going on behind me. But it's there, nonetheless. I am there.
Our place in time and space… Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there.

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  2 Responses to “Through the looking glass”

  1. I hate this image because it reminds me of a little lesson that I’m still trying to master. Everytime I catch myself pronouncing a judgement on someone, thinking “why don’t you…..” “You are so…..” etc, etc, I find that, usually a bit later down the track, that actually it is me I am looking at whenever I make those proclamations, and I don’t like what I see. The glass indeed sees both ways, sigh….. it reminds me of my mum telling me unsavoury truths about myself, I don’t like to hear them but my inner self knows they need to be heard and better yet, dealt to. So, thanks Jen, I hate your image, it’s so good fror me.

  2. Interesting isn’t it that everything depends so much on our own particular viewpoint, and what we choose to put in and out of the picture, including ourselves. Don’t forget that this also includes what your Mum chooses to tell you.

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