seaweed still life

This snap of a found still life was made along the coast between Petrel Cove and Kings Beach in Waitpinga whilst I was on an early morning poodlewalk:

 I have been looking at an exhibition  of the early 35mm work  made by Joel Meyerowitz between 1963 and 1978. The exhibition is entitled "Joel Meyerowitz: Towards Colour 1962-1978",  and it is at   Beetles and Huxley, a photographic gallery  in London. These Leica snapshots  are   from Meyerowitz's very early days shooting in black and white on the streets of New York  to the year he published his first book, "Cape Light", the pictures of which were made with a large format camera. 

Meyerowitz worked in advertising for four months of the year to support his family and devoted the rest of his time to photography.  A number of the pictures in Mexico and Florida   were made with  a Guggenheim Scholarship to take pictures on the theme of 'leisure time'.

The snapshot tradition

The pictures made with the film Leica are snapshots and, and as such, they belong to the tradition of the snapshot image culture. Traditionally, snapshot photography is  one in which the images  are almost always produced for and circulated within,  the private realm, and its meaning and significance are  imbedded in individual and rarely rational affective responses. 

The snapshot  tradition has been interpreted as a form of vernacular photography,  and  this culture  is usually interpreted as  pictures made by everyday  folk about their everyday life;  or more specifically,   "the unself-conscious efforts of common people . . . to create satisfying patterns in the realities of everyday life. 

This results in a gap between the unruly vernacular culture and the modernist,  hermeticizing discourse  of the art institution, with its emphasis on autonomy, authorship, uniqueness and universality.   

 This vernacular culture insists on lived experience, or a rhetoric of authenticity, works within specific social and cultural conventions, and emphasises personal narrative. For most of us, snapshots mean something because they preserve a memory, capture a moment, or depict a friend, family member or loved one. -These are the  same themes that Kodak promoted for decades. From a personal point of view the significance of snapshot aesthetics often revolves around what we see and feel when viewing snapshots, rather than what they mean to art historians, curators, and collectors.  

playground, Andamooka

A picture of the past. A  picture of life in a frontier mining world of Andamooka. 

It's not much of a backyard or  playground is it, at the foot of the  opal mine tailings.  My memory of Andamooka is that the dust  from the mine tailings was everywhere, layered over everything. It was hot and the atmosphere was arid.  

What this photo from the archives does is bring the past--that has been---into the present.    In offering  an image of the past it opens  up history, allowing us to see the past---what  once was; allowing us an insight into the lives that were lived in a frontier mining town; allowing us to imagine a life lived among the dust from  the mine tailings next to the traditional tin houses of old.    

It's a  remnant of the town's past --a different remnant  to  the raditional dugout style houses of old that was  pictured in the previous post. 

miners hut, Andamooka

This picture of  an  opal miners hut  at Andamooka in South Australia, which  is from  my film archives ---  an example of  ordinariness or a deadpan aesthetic that was made whilst  travelling on the margins of modernity.

Like the previous images  the picture was  made with a Leica M4-P, with a 50mm  f.2 Summicron lens and Kodak 400ASA film.   As previously mentioned in an earlier post  I discovered a roll of film I'd exposed whilst I was  visiting  Andamooka circa 2004-5.   My film work at the time--35mm and medium format--- was usually developed and scanned by a pro-lab, but for some reason this roll hadn't been scanned.  This was  several years prior to  buying my first  digital camera. I had no knowledge of digital cameras. 

B.Construction, Andamooka

From the  film archives.  

This  is another  image that I came across when I was going through my film archives. A public sculpture at Andamooka in South Australia. The picture was  made with a Leica M4-P,  a 50mm  f.2 Summicron lens and Kodak 400ASA film:

 As I mentioned in an earlier post I  discovered a roll of film I'd exposed whilst I was  visiting  Andamooka circa 2004-5   My film work at the time--35mm and medium format--- was usually developed and scanned by a pro-lab, but for some reason this roll hadn't been scanned.  This was  several years prior to  buying my first  digital camera.