Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"They're sure as hell not normal photographs!"

Betsy Catron, Untitled, 2009

"But what sort of photographs are they? One can hardly say, can one? One can only display a perfectly normal camera that photographs a dog which is apparently preparing to leap. And once it leaps, it will be gone from the frame of the picture. At that one point, one of three things may happen. The camera may start taking normal pictures, which is to say, pictures of the things it is aimed at; it may take no more pictures at all, it's one purpose, to photograph - to document, one might even say - that dog, completed; or it may simply go on taking pictures of that white fence and the ill-tended lawn behind it."

"Pardon me for saying so, Mr. Merrill, but you've shown me something that I thought I'd never see: an explicably and almost irrefutable paranormal occurrence that is really quite boring."

"It really is only a dog, as far as you can see?"

"Of course."

He Sighed.

Joseph Koudelka, Hound, 1987

The dog's face was no longer a recognizable thing at all. It had twisted and distorted into a carny freak-show thing that seemed have but a single dark and malevolent eye, neither round nor oval but some how runny, like the yolk of an egg that has been stabbed with the tines of a fork. its nose was a black beak with deep flared holes drilled into either side...Maybe - or maybe that part was just my imagination.

Nancy Rexroth, Boy and St. Bernard, Shawnee, Ohio, 1974

It's not a photographed dog, Kevin thought, and it doesn't belong in the world that cameras can capture pictures of. That's crazy, I know it is, but I also know it's true. So what does that mean? Why is my camera taking pictures of it over and over...and who is taking pictures of it? Does he or she even see it? If it IS a three dimensional dog in a two dimensional word, maybe he or she doesn't see it...can't see it. They say for us time is the fourth dimension, and we know it's there, but we can't see it. We can't even really feel it pass, although sometimes, especially when we're bored, I guess, it seems like we can.

But if the dog really IS three dimensional, maybe he sees out - maybe he sees who ever is using the camera. Maybe it's still not me, or not specifically me; maybe whoever is using the camera is its target.

Nathan Lewis, Untitled (Levee), 2007

"No," Kevin said.
"No ghost. I see who took the picture. Who really took the picture."

Margaret M DeLange, Daughters #19, 2000

Text borrowed (and slightly modified) from: