Jamie Drouin

 

 

This is a recent group of pictures by canadian photographer and friend Jamie Drouin, made in Berlin. What can we say about pictures without a Subject as it is commonly understood? When I say these pictures were made in Germany;does it matter? To give names to things is only a small aspect of these beautifull images. If,  in the ‘decisive moment’  we see the photographer still and waiting as the world unfolds; in these photographs I see the opposite. The photographer is moving through spaces looking ,hunting .I’m aware of the photographers gaze ,of my own perceptual experience as I  look through the out of  focus foreground to a detailed middle ground. Conversely the non focused areas can become my point of interest. These pictures feel like a glance, a precognitive state of awareness. With the camera mostly pointed downward to the ground we have no sky ,no open space and consequently I experience them as a representation of restriction;a kind of binding and a closed in feeling.

However, there are much spikey and tendril like forms here that animates these pictures with  life .

The Myth of Osiris – death, resurrection and the cycles of agriculture

Set had been jealous of his brother Osiris´ power and popularity for some time .When Osiris decided to travel the world to bring civilisation to its people, he made Isis (his wife and sister) Regent of Egypt instead of Set. Set vowed to kill his brother and take the power he considered to be rightfully his. Set invited Osiris to a banquet and had a beautiful cedarwood and ebony chest made  for the occasion. He offered the chest to anyone who could fit into it. Just as Set planned, none of the other guests fitted the chest perfectly, the only person left to try was Osiris. When he lay down in the chest, Set slammed on the lid and nailed it down. He sealed it with molten lead and threw it in the Nile.

Running water, David Pollock 2009

The chest floated down the Nile ,was swept out to sea and landed on the coast near Byblos. The instant it touched the land, a huge Tamarisk tree sprouted up and absorbed  it into its trunk. The king of Byblos admired the tree and cut it down and set it up as a pillar in his palace with the coffin still hidden inside. Isis tracked his body to Byblos and persuaded the king to give it to her . She took her husband´s corpse back to Egypt and used magic to concieve his child, Horus . However, Set found Osiris´s body unattended. He cut the corpse into fourteen  parts and distributed them around Egypt. Isis was distraught, and enlisted the help of her sister and Set´s wife, Nephthys. They found all but one of the pieces, his penis, which was eaten by a fish . Isis and Nephthys mourned over the dead body of their brother and Ra took pity on them. He  instructed Isis to piece the body back together, with the help of god Anubis,and swathed it in linen and clay.She fanned the cold clay with  her wings and Osiris revived to reign as king of the dead in the otherworld.

Osiris was also a  god of grain often depicted with grain growing from his body while lying face up..   Every harvest, the grain god was symbolically killed and his body broken on the threshing room floor, but after the inundation of the Nile river  life would return to the land and the grain would grow again.

Large pictures

“I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is painting something very grandiose and pompous. The reason I paint them, however . . . is precisely because I want to be very intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience, to look upon an experience as a stereopticon view or with a reducing glass. However you paint the larger picture, you are in it. It isn’t something you command!” – Mark Rothko

Why I make large images.

Naturae

Here is a traveling exhibit that I have helped with editorially and also printed half the show. The ideas behind this show are ones that that I share an interest in and commitment to. The catalogue presents photographs along with interviews with Architects, Urban Planners and Academics regarding Landscape and the challenges ahead for thinking about our relationship to the natural world.

Steve bisson ,the curator is interviewed  (here) on Hippolyte Bayard blog.

The Cultural Landscape

Field 1

The Cutural Landscape

Here is an excerpt from an article by David E Cooper published in TPM.

‘ An analogous complaint might be made about the narrowness of the notion of nature that dominated Western environmental ethics until very recently. (“Western”, since the complaints I am making do not apply to, for example, Japanese traditions of thinking about art and about nature.) Here, nature has usually been identified with wilderness – with nature set apart from human activity – and the chief question concerned the “intrinsic value” or otherwise of nature thus understood. Environmental ethics had peculiarly little to say, beyond expressing regret at a necessary evil, about people’s comportment in and towards the environments – humanised, cultural landscapes – in which they actually act and move. The discipline, fortunately, is now coming to maturity. Its practitioners go beyond agonising about whether it is proper even to “tread lightly” on the earth and are instead examining how virtues – from tidiness and cleanliness to compassion and humility – might inform such heavy-treading interventions as landscape design and agriculture. Continue reading