Haunting public images.

I sometimes take images because they seem to be telling me stories encapsulated in a single frame.  But they are stories made up of questions instead of statements.  At the end of the day they are captivating but unfulfilling because I will never know the outcome of the stories or the answers to any of the questions that are raised.  We lived surrounded by stories made up of questions.  When we photography them we are no more enlightened than before.  Now we have reference material for our imaginations.  When we write we can fill in the blanks.

I'm more and more curious about WHY we photograph.  And WHY we photograph the scenes and subjects we do.  I assume it's akin to all the psychiatrists out there who seem to practice as a way to grapple with their own emotional drama.  We photograph the things we love and can't hold on to or the things that frighten us which we can't escape.  And lots of scenes in the middle.


wjl (Wolfgang Lonien) said...

Wow. That is a strong image indeed. And you are right - there are no words for it, except, maybe, questions which will remain unanswered.

Kyle Batson said...

Agreed. A strong image. Nice job, Kirk.

Nick Van Zanten said...

So if an image, sometimes, is really made up of questions, then can it be a story, really? I know the allure of a compelling image, and I too am curious about why we photograph; but I seriously question the notion that we "lived surrounded by stories made up of questions." Stories by definition close the loop, provide an arch from beginning to end. Why should a photograph even need to be a story if it is only our own imaginations that provide the outcome?

Photographs, however compelling, might not be stories, even though they project a thousand words. I've taken many pictures that suggest stories, without an outcome; and I've taken pictures that only text can explain. Photos may be only what they are: Dianne Arbus suggested that “A photograph is about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.”

kirk tuck said...

Nick, as an student of literature I can unequivocally tell you that a story does not have to have a beginning or an end. The closed loop is alluring but many stories are endless continuations and the endings haven't been written. I love the Diane Arbus quote.

Paul said...

Sometimes I think our need to tell and listen to stories is a drive to re-capture an emotion or series of emotions. The formal structure of the story isn't important but the sense of connectedness is. This picture really re-captures the emotions I felt as an 18 year old out with my girl even though it is some 40 years after the fact.

As an aside someone once wrote that youth is wasted on the young as they don't appreciate how fleeting it really is. Growing old sucks. I definitely wish I was 18 again.

John Krumm said...

I can't help but think of my 14 year old daughter with someone too old for her. It is a strong image, and that's part of its strength to me, the unanswered question.

James Weekes said...

I don't write well or often, and never fiction. But when I saw that picture a tragic short story came to mind. Now that I'm writing this I realize that it took me into the movie Badlands with Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek directed by Terence Malick. It has a sense of impending trouble.

Of course I realize that two minutes later they probably looked like happy kids at a downtown event, but you caught a great moment. HCB is applauding.

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