Thursday, November 15, 2007

the chateau--inspiration, explanation

So much happens in a day, a week, a month. I battle bedbugs. I do laundry, scrub the floors. I complain about it, yet she can’t even go around the corner to the Laundromat. I go to work. I lay on the grass in the park, look up at the clouds. Grass tickles my toes. I am charged with life. And all the while day after day, she lays in bed, immobilized by a tube connecting her to a machine. My birthday comes. She’s probably thinking of me. Yet I almost forget her. She is in New Jersey, in a medical nursing home. She has gone there to die. And to most of us, even those who love her, it’s almost like she’s already dead. I cannot call her to say hi. She can no longer talk! And our busy lives rush past us as she sits. How is it? Counting hours? I want to join her in that prison, see what it’s like not to see anything else but those four ‘tastefully decorated’ walls with the institutional touches. Nurses are her new family. They take the abuse we used to if everything wasn’t just so. I want to photograph that world that is left behind our mobile and swiftly moving dimension. How many thousand or millions of people live there—soon to be more? The forgotten. I photographed Lynn once before. It was a couple years
back. She was already sliding down this slope but in comparison she was much more mobile. She dressed up like a faded movie star and I gave her wigs and make-up whimsy. This time I don’t think even the clown nose will come in handy. I don’t want to be morbid, or exploitative. I just want to be there to see. I expect boredom. When you’re the only one who can talk, the sound of your own voice becomes annoying. I expect her to be cranky, not to get it. I’m not sure I even get it. It just seems like in this state, details become enormous, and I love details. I’m thinking black and white. Is that typical and nostalgic? I’m thinking of my 50mm 1.4 lens catching as much light as possible and giving me shallow depth of field. I’m also thinking of bringing that fisheye toy camera I got for my birthday. Maybe it would convey a bit of that trapped state. Black and White will be a challenge for me. I haven’t mastered the digital version. Maybe it would be a good challenge to make some beautiful (?) black and white prints for my final project. Or a homebound book? We’ll see.

i wrote this statement for class a few weeks ago. looks like i've ditched the black and white idea


Anonymous said...

Love your work kitty! You so know what you're doing!!!

Amy said...

Kitty, you're doing a great job of capturing the essence of Lynn's life. SC