Camera Obscura: 5:04 AM Sunrise Over the Atlantic Ocean. Rockport, Massachusetts, June 17th, 2009
I love this photograph on so many levels. In some ways it represents a mental space that I'm trying to get to, but haven't yet reached. In other ways it fully represents the attempt: the closed door, the empty room, the being stuck but able to see where you want to be, which is in the calm and mystery of the sunrise and the ocean beyond. It's the duality of the interior, and exterior made interior, that feels to me like an internal state made manifest.
Well, Joerg beat me to it. I was just about to write a post about Abe's Penny, the brainchild of Anna and Tess Knoebel, when I logged into my Google Reader and saw he'd put up an entry. I had even taken photos of the fronts and backs of the cards last week in preparation. It must be in the air.
I was lucky enough to have the surprise of receiving the postcards unexpectedly: a few months ago when I went to check the mail I was greeted with an image I recognized as Melanie Flood's (whose current curatorial project I just mentioned here.) Turning the card over I saw it was Abe's Penny, and was quite excited to have been chosen for a freebie. At the end I had four postcards to my name, and I have to say one thing that I liked about the whole experience was how they arrived a little weathered, a bit beaten up by the post office, and not clean and perfect. It almost felt like a bit of performance art--a piece of photography shuttled about, creating a nice quartet at the end. So that's my take; get the Conscientious perspective here.
Includes photographs by Chris Bentley, Rona Chang, Daniel Farnum, Elizabeth Fleming, Lee Gainer, Matthew Genitempo, Inka Lindergård & Niclas Holmström, Natascha Libbert, Bradley Peters, Carlo Van de Roer, Daniel Shea, Manuel Vazquez, Jens Windolf, Susan Worsham and Bahar Yurukoglu
Brian Ulrich's "Myths and Realities, Photography Moves Into the 21st Century"
70 pages, Softcover
Edition of 100
8 x 10 in.
$45 + Shipping & Handling
70 pages, Hardcover
Edition of 25
8 x 10 in.
$100 + Shipping & Handling
The special edition will also include two signed and numbered 8.5 x 11 prints of the customer's choice. To view the print editions click here.
© Mikael Kennedy
For those who missed the opening last week of Mikael Kennedy's "The Wine Dark Sea," you can make an appointment to view the show which is up until August 8th at Melanie Flood Projects. They're open for visits Tuesday through Friday; email MsFlood@gmail.com to set up a time. It looks like there's an interesting installation quality to the show, visit the MFP site and this section of Mikael's site to see more.
That morning I received a response saying that though they did look washed out it should be fine in the print version. This still made me nervous: "should be fine" doesn't equal "will be fine," and I wasn't willing to risk it not looking right for the contest judges. I decided to redo it from scratch and try again. Now I was getting down to the wire, and when I uploaded the new cover, to my chagrin the images were stretched to a horrible degree, creating wonky effects and white space where there was none. (I have to say that the Blurb templates didn't seem to be completely accurate, regardless of the strange image distortion problems I had.) By now it was too late to get help from customer service via email, and they unfortunately have no way to contact them by phone. Though I suspected that the actual print book would look as it should and that the problem was as they said simply in their web viewing capabilities, again I wasn't willing to risk it. Plus I didn't want the general population to view my book online as it was. Poor James, my IT tech guru, tried for two hours to get it right with no success. I won't repeat here some of the phrases that came out of my mouth...
So after all this I tried one more tack: to change the cover from a dust jacket to an imagewrap, and to create white space around the images--this way if they were washed out it might be less apparent (luckily this time around they were the correct color, etc.). I hate to give a disclaimer, as I still think this current cover conveys the mood of the book, but it's not, according to my OCD standards, 100% what I wanted. I do like that the white space on the front and back echo the importance of the white space inside the book, and the images are the same ones I used from the start, but I still find myself being somewhat stuck on the other version, though this one is growing on me now that I've gotten some distance from the stress of yesterday. I'm just having a hard time letting go of the lack of complete control over the presentation. The content is exactly as it should be, and I think ultimately that's the most important thing, but I'm surprised at my emotional reaction to the entire experience. I feel like I need to crawl into bed for a while.
Perhaps some of my being unhinged is due to the personal nature of a book--it feels different than presenting a portfolio or a website. There was something a bit soul-baring about deciding how to pair the images, creating the interplay and flow of the layout, and over days and even weeks slowly bit by bit moving, changing, and sizing all of these pictures that mean so much to me. Then I had a big crazy push to finish at the end, will all of the manic energy a deadline brings, and it sucked the life out of me. With that said you may be surprised to hear that I loved making the book, the intuitive nature of it, getting lost in it, almost like solving a puzzle. But then to put it out into the world, even if everyone but the judges can only see 15 pages on the Blurb site, still feels raw and has made me a little vulnerable I suppose. I'm sure it doesn't help that Edie has now been with my in-laws for six days and I'm longing for her to be home. I feel adrift.
All in all I think I'm somewhat burned out. I've become one of those manic "human doing" people. So I've made a pact with myself: I'm going to finish up my submissions for July, and any upcoming in August that I can do in advance, and then I'm taking a month off. I'm going to treat the summer like the summer: I'll lounge more, be lazy, and fend off the mosquitoes in the backyard with a drink in hand.
James and Edie left to visit James' parents in Tulsa yesterday. June and I stayed behind, heading off to the pool during the day where she kept drinking the water, and to a party in the evening where she drank more baby pool water that was a cocktail the kids made of bits of food, grass, soap and, as the hosts' son proudly announced, "pee." So it was no big surprise when last night at 3 am she got hit with a stomach bug. We were up until 7 as I tended to her, did laundry, and held the bowl for my brave girl. We went back to bed for a few hours, dealt with more throwing up, and then by noon she was much more cheerful. In the photos above she's zoning out on Dora or Diego or Wonder Pets--I lost count after a while. By the evening she was treating me to a dance recital in only her diaper and ballet slippers. I feel like supermom. She's asleep now but fussing, and I'm crossing my fingers that we don't get hit by a second wave.
There's been plenty I want to write lately (I feel like I say that every other post) but not much time, as usual. Between illnesses, summer barbecues, and trying to finish my Blurb book (which I vow to get done by the deadline this year) there hasn't been much space for me to organize my thoughts. Hopefully after next week things will settle down a bit and I'll be able to write some semi-coherent commentary.
Speaking of Blurb, James finished his book, called Fabricate, check out a preview here. I think it's excellent, and I'm not just saying that as his wife.
About the prints:
Image size: 7 x 10½ "
Paper size: 8½ x 11"
Archival giclee print on 100% rag, matte finished paper
Limited edition of 50, signed on the back
Price: $50 including shipping inside the United States; add $7 for international shipping.
Happy day after the 4th. James got us some donuts this morning--the girls each took a bite of the holiday-themed ones and rejected them in favor of strawberry glazed. You can see the aftermath of June's sugar rush above. Now they're out washing the car in the driveway on this beautiful Sunday and I'm off to read the Week in Review.