Thursday, September 25, 2008

Week 5


  1. So perfectly prepared, cooked, and served. Manmade from the stuff of the world. Logos, articles of clothing, bare skin, framed expressions.

    Just like the joyful rainbow seahorse, I'm fed nature's candies in all shapes and forms. Hanging sock, swirling smoke, and a logo turned upside down...I've dived into a colorful children's ballpit--no sense of forward or back, or even up and down, but mere immersion in pure shapes, colors, textures, and instincts.

    Rich, colorful inconsistencies. Pieces of young, pieces of old, pieces of young, pieces of cold. I'm stuck in uncertainty. Should I shed my sweater? I'm tempted to bare my feet, yet slip on gloves.

    As I swim through this colorful ballpit, my attention is driven around and around without end. I shift from face to face to face to feet to sock...Thick, syrupy yellow mingles with deep reds, blues and greens. Smoke tickles a screaming portrait.

    Pure questions, right on the edge--what lies beyond? I keep swimming through this ballpit image, and it swims through me. Each diving into the other full of questions. The image asks me, and I ask it. The asking remains infinitely unresolved, yet infinitely in dialogue.

  2. I am first struck, I daresay I mean struck by the colors and the knowledge they aren't as vibrant in their other lives. Brightly colored apartments can hide the lack on may feel. Languishing on the couch, smoke burning, socks hanging on the lamp while the other guests (the man and woman) tolerate the situation somewhat uncomfortably. They are blue. He with the shirt print matching her scarf with its checks. The clothes fun they say but they are not. The hostess tolerates their presence,not bothering to take their coats or offer a drink. There are cups on the table her apathy says.

    Gracious and Grateful juxtaposed against youth in living color.

  3. The woman is dressed for snowy weather, with mittens and a scarf. In contrast, the androgynous legs laying on the couch are bare. The legs look disconnected, unattached to a body, assuming there even is one. Just like the gazes, disconnected. Cold.
    There is no foreground or background. The cigarette smoke tendrils become a part of the painting itself, not something in front of the painting. I would also argue that the mouth is not screaming. Rather, it is yawning: a reflection of the pervasive boredom in the room.
    The vivacious colors of the tablecloth, the bowl, the cups, are in direct contrast to the mood of the room.

  4. What a conflicting feeling of awkwardness this image conveys! The old man and woman both wear surprised looks, focused toward distinctly separate places off camera. On the left, a pair of legs rest on the couch.

    One might see this as a family picture, imagining a television off to the left with a younger person laying there on the couch staring while the grandmother catches a quick glimpse of what's on the screen and the grandfather, just having entered the room, opts to view the outdoors through a window instead.

    However, can anyone really say whether the old man is in motion at all, or speculate about whether there is a window or TV off camera? Nothing but imagination speaks to these facts.

    Taken solely for what it is worth, this is a truly horrifying image! These two old people have a pair of legs on their couch and that is just gross.

  5. Cigarette smoke merges with the painting on the wall, and together they form an image. There is no foreground, no background, only image. The woman's open mouth on the wall is a reaction to the living room scene, and as such is part of the living room scene. Maybe she is sneezing from the smoke that threateningly lingers below her chin; maybe she is taking a deep breath to equip herself with enough air to blow the smoke out of her face; maybe she is singing.

    The "Bus Day Sa..." headline on the newspaper that sits on the bottom right corner of the scene faces the viewer so as to include him or her. Would you like some popcorn? How about some tea and honey? There are plenty of cups to fill with water if you are thirsty. Please ignore the sock on the lampshade.

    There is something very unrealistic about this scene: the colors are too vibrant, the woman's complacent gaze is too directed, and quite frankly that lit cigarette hanging over the couch looks like a fire hazard (not to mention the teapot and water pitcher that are too close to the edge of the table). This couldn't be a candid photograph; rather, it is an image that elicits a participation, the creation of a place, an event of seeing.

    Who cares what's in the refrigerator or whether or not the popcorn is salted? This image is not about gathering information or cataloging the world. This image is about imagery. This image is about creating worlds.

  6. While the cigarette smoke appears to wrestle the lines of the wall-hung painting it is actually creating its own space within the image (both the one inside the pictured frame and the image contained within the border of the photograph) and simultaneously surrendering to the texture of the oil painting, deepening it, rendering it. Each enhances the existence of each other.
    The rich green (couch, teapot, Gatorade© and bowl) stands in stark contrast with the red tablecloth, the latter brings the framed picture of the theater to the foreground, the color calls up the dimensionality of this image, forcing the separation of the objects, while identifying the dimension of the theater - a performance space, removed. Isolated, yet within its own space contained.
    Is a 'candid shot' defined by everything that a 'theatrical performance still' is not, these two therefore being collectively exhaustive? Or is it just the difference between painting your toenails and having staff to do same?
    None of this distracts Winnie the Pooh™ from the arduous task of holding a honey-pot overhead, and the popcorn is getting stale, beckoning the texture of the honey.

  7. A candy shop for grown ups. Vulgar, shiny, jumbo-sized and yummy. Just look around! Cigarette smoke’s whispered pirouette, oozing honey bridled with a plastic smile, the slippery pitcher drooling from its beak, a gaping cavern-mouth eats the night, limp twiggy legs, they’re low fat. Life comes fresh-n-ready in a can, or a Gatorade cup. But grandma and grandpa can’t play in this new age of wicked deliciousness. They’re pale and wrinkly; they don’t sparkle nor do they pop, all grandma has going for her are her lollipop lips. Welcome to the present: in high definition Technicolor and sugary sweet. Throbbing delight, delectable pain, anything goes unless you’re boring or slow.

  8. This is a frightening picture. The stark gazes into the unknown, the screaming painting on the wall, the harsh light in the room. Some things look more 'real' than others. Is this a painting or a photograph? And who's legs nonchalantly lie on the couch? Their calm contrasts with the overwhelming tension in the rest of the picture.

  9. This is one of the creepiest pictures I have ever seen. Neither the man nor the woman is looking at the camera (and subsequently the viewer). Instead they are looking off to the side via their peripheral vision. What is off to the side? Is “off to the side” still part of the frame, if they are looking at it? By pushing the viewer’s imagination (making them wonder what the man and the woman could be looking at) this image is able to call into question the definition of the “frame.” The viewer cannot see what they are looking at, yet is freaked out nonetheless, making the image outside of the frame just as important as what the viewer can see on the inside.

    Further breaking with the conventional concept of the idea of the frame, one of the central images in this picture is another painting; a frame within a frame. This second frame grabs the attention of the viewer nearly as much, if not more, than the other images within the original and larger frame. What makes the viewer focus on this second frame? Does the act of framing subsequently equate the image with a certain amount of importance?

    It seems as though, regardless of the answers to these questions, that this image, though not explicitly a proliferation of images (as explicitly as the Jackie O image from last week), is really just that. Everything can be framed, is framed, and yet isn’t framed. The frame draws attention to the images, yet the images go beyond the visible frames. More than one event is taking place within this image, just as more than one frame can be drawn.

  10. The image resists identification in every sense, that is, the subjects in the image lack any characteristic of humanity we can recognize - the legs on the couch are just that, legs. We have no idea what, if anything, the legs are connected to. Similarly, both the man and the woman appear stoic, expressionless, with no indication of activity, emotion, even movement. They are not human in the conventional sense. Interestingly, the portrait in the background differs from what we expect of a painting; rather than being a self-contained and "complete" work, we see what we imagine to be part of the image (which assumes of course, that we can consider the "rest" of the picture to exist somewhere off camera.) The painting pierces the image, presenting an image of humanity far different than what we are accustomed to.

  11. The variety of colors catches my attention and helps create a vibrant, jolting atmosphere. The red in the artwork on the wall to the red tablecloth to a dark hue of red on the elderly woman's lips to finally a red tinge emanating from the artwork on the very right: red with its various shades flow throughout the image. The same thing happens with blue and green. These three colors in various shades flow at once seamlessly, yet all fighting for your attention. These vibrant colors highlight the pale, white flesh in the room. It's amusing how inanimate objects are vibrant, whereas the elderly man, woman and the pair of legs on the couch are a bland white. More emotions emanate from the artwork of a child crying with delight and the naked pair of legs on the couch than the elderly man and woman.

  12. The girl in the painting is just as much as alive as the elderly people. Her display of affect expresses a type of angst in the room which isn't expressed in the other figures. the colors also suggest a type of angst of harsh emotion. They jump out at the viewer. The smoke blending into the painting seems as though it blends in and succumbs to the canvas itself. The sock and random arranged nic nacks also provide a sense of chaos. There are no eyes staring towards the viewer. Constant bewilderment.

  13. The viewer can potentially see the image of the old man in five (perhaps in even more) different frames. The first frame is the closest frame; the one the old man is 'directly' or physically in. The second one does not appear to be so far back. It can be indicated by the door swinging out. The third frame is the supposed white wall that looks like a built in frame. The white gives off a weird effect since it acts like a translucent agent. Way in the back is the red frame, the fourth frame. The red and white frames are also intertwining, most likely because of how the white works. The viewer can also see the four frames at once, which seems like seeing out of a mirror.

  14. a painting image, bodies as images, objects as images. This image has no self evident narrative, no teleology of interpretation. it is a study of objects, shapes, and colors. hyper-contrived down to the cigarette emanating smoke. disparate textures, smooth, shiny, smokey, brittle popcorn, sagging flesh, smooth legs, the feeling of paint. A contemporary still life. would you as a bowl of oranges next to flowers what it means? No, you probably wouldn't. Sit back and admire the lines, colors, shapes, and textures. All these images (how many are there??) within the larger image interact, and intersect albeit passively, unconscious like automatons placed in space for the viewer's delight.

  15. The image has an entirely different effect (or affect) on the viewer after enlarging it. I literally just gasped with delight upon the discovery that I could make this image take over my entire internet window. It is a smorgasbord of color and senses. The viewer sees seeing, touches touching, hears a hearing, and literally smells a certain smell to this image. The texture of the woman's buttons, the lamp indentures, the ripply buttery couch, the pixilated sock, the smooth purple cascading of the glass pitcher, that one particularly depressed wrinkle on that man's face, the velvetty of the woman's hat--the viewer's fingers have little trouble feeling the touch of it all, the viewer can drag her fingers ever so lightly on that perfectly smooth wall and press her nails into the buckled, stapled white chair.

    It's an image that reaches out and touches the viewer's brain--grabs a hold of it, making the head cock to the side in inquiry: what paralyzing thing are those people looking at? Did that woman just come in from the cold? Does she intend to eat that popcorn with a spoon? Sure, the image doesn't need to have a narrative, but really, what is going on here?

    This is an image of images, because everything is an image--that image of a singing/yelling girl is inhaling the image of that dancing smoke, which is slithering around the image of the lamp and hovering over the image of the couch. The image of the man and the woman is absorbing the image of some unseen thing by the viewer but the viewer can take some solace in this: they're definitely looking at an image.

    That is the single most voluptuous, welcoming jar of honey I have ever seen.

  16. There is a woman sitting at a table, but the viewer is only able to see the upper half of her body, the lower being obscured by the table. On the couch, the lower half of a person is shown, the upper half is not captured within the frame. Above the couch, there is a painting of a screaming woman. The similarities between the screaming woman in the painting and the woman sitting at the table are undeniable. Both have approximately the same hair color and are wearing the similar blue shirts. The wrinkles on the face of the woman in the painting hints at an age similar to that of the woman at the table. All of these elements combined? It's sickeningly as though the legs of the woman at the table have been removed. The screaming woman in the painting seems to embody the pain of the woman as her legs were removed. The table is the color of blood, as is the backdrop of the painting. The man in the doorway looks disgusted, too horrified to look at either the legs on the couch or the woman at the table. His gaze is directed away from both the objects. I must have a sick and twisted mind or something.

    We are accustomed to images that show us the entirety of an object. If an object is only partially portrayed, the part that is not can usually be expected to supplied by the memory of the viewer. In this image, we do not know whose legs are on the couch, or even if it is of a man or a woman. We are only left to speculate what we are not being shown.

  17. The golden, luminous honey bear engages you in a staring competition. The wide-open mouth of the painting sings to you. The cigarette smoke dances and swirls, creating shapes the way clouds do. The water pitcher oozes sexy appeal with its curvaceous body and electric aura. In contrast, the man, woman and legs are motionless, pale and blank. The objects in this photograph are more alive than the people.

  18. this image is not an invitation. The viewer is not stared at or even
    glanced at, the colors, even the reds and syruped thick yellows, are cold
    and yet, hyper-saturated. Nothing is warm here. There is no place for
    you here. Despite it's attempted depth, the woman, the legs, and further back the man, this image is very flat. Truly, where would we stand?

    The sincerity I expect of the elderly couple is washed with a stain of
    this contrived coloring, this perfectly placed misplaced sock.

    It's as if their skin is painted with advertising techniques. Her lips are painted with contrived youth.

    Everything is in focus, there is no background, it is already the foreground.
    The elderly man is just as in focus as the Gatorade cup in front of him, each challenging each other for prominance in a hyper-saturated world.

    It didn't even occur to me until now that my own eyes can't even focus this much at once.

  19. The way the painting in the image is cut off, a mouth without a face, is bewildering. Is this a cry or a scream or is it a laugh...? Whatever it is, It's loud. There is a vexing bond between the dimensions of color and sound. The two scream in unison. And what's with the oldies' stare? What is out there? Should I be looking too?

  20. The image contains many aspects that clash against each other, shown by the sock placed on top of the fine lamp, the smoke caressing the painting on the wall, the Gatorade cups occupying the same table as a nice tea set. Even the rigid bodies of the old man and woman, the preoccupied look on the man’s face and the vacant stare of the women stand in contrast to the apparent relaxed posture of the young person lounging on the coach.
    A shift in the amount of movement appears if the viewer moves horizontally through the picture. The static gaze of the woman appearing more like a manikin than a person, shifting to the man’s momentary pause in the doorway, and leading to the continuous wafting of the smoke upward toward the ceiling. The differences in action status reinforce the clash that appears in other aspects of the image.

  21. This shot instantly rearranges the viewer and places them in the middle of the scene. The viewer has no time to contemplate a narrative; the photo is simply its world going. But at the same time this photo displays the seeing of slow. The smoke billows through the air as it conflates with the painting; it appears as if the mouth had exhaled the smoke by way of a yawn. The old man decelerates as he comes to a standstill in the doorway and joins the lady already seated for an overlook of the room. Each geriatric staring blankly in separate directions as if the room was lacking any focal point of interest. The honey is illuminated by the ambient light and sets the tempo of the scene. The room is thick with slowness. And then there are the legs, conspicuously propped up on the couch without any concern, enjoying the pleasures of slow.

  22. There's a continuity between the image within an image, as seen with the smoke twirling in the air, encountering the picture frame on the wall. The viewer is unable to separate between reality and the image, the two are enmeshed as one image, one reality, yet distinctly discernible. Patterns intertwine between the lamp and the old man's shirt; images bleed into images. There's a fluidity and a continuity of the encounter between the corporeal and the inanimate; the lines between flesh and material become muzzled. The man's navy sleeve becomes an extension of the blue glass jug and the glass jug extends back into his sleeve, just as does the smoke from the burning cigarette sitting on the couch, flowing simultaneously both in and out of the painting above it, taking new form at every intercept of the frame, and the woman inside the frame. The viewer cannot discern whether the smoke is inside or outside the frame, a multi-dimensional affect between the two images alike. The frames in this image don't have a beginning or an end, they are ever continuous openings from one frame to the next.

  23. A million things that seem to have no connection whatsoever. To try to interpret this image as a narrative places the viewer in a very uncomfortable place. Nothing seems to make sense. How could this scene be happening? However, there is no indication in the image that this is supposed to exist outside the frame in which we are looking. The people in the picture aren't even looking at each other. They do not acknowledge each other's presence. The two old people are looking off screen but they don't even seem to be looking in the same direction. It is as if each thing in the picture is its own separate being,

    contently self contained,

    with no connection to the other things in the room. This room os tightly packed with things, each one with a close spatial proximity to the other and yet there is a feeling of complete disconnectedness. The image challenges the notion of spatial proximity as a connecter between things. These things are contained within the same room only feet, inches, centimeters apart and yet they feel miles apart.

  24. Confusion and disgust. Misplacement and displacement. Trying but not succeeding. At least they’re trying, but anxiety overtakes stoicism at this site of seeing. This godless world of “the internets” is very scary. It’s hard to know where to look, because nothing is quite familiar. What was familiar now laughs mockingly. The framed picture is static and without meaning now, the frame is no longer mighty enough to protect us from a realization that all is image; even if it were to frame something pretty it would not be enough to secure any repose. Repose is a strife. What makes disorder so appealing? Why are you so comfortable, young man? Why is everything so life-like here? Why is everything too life-like here? There is no way of knowing how to turn down the contrast or the brightness because these are antiquated categories from the mid-20th century. Instructions no longer come in manuals that can be held, and even if they did, they were likely recycled with the packaging. Even the instructions are image now.

  25. This is a tricky image because my mind is beginning to think about things that aren’t within the frame, as if there is some event outside the image that I should be focusing on. There are so many things along the edges of the image that seem to be cut off from my seeing—the person on the couch, the rest of the painting, the other piece of artwork on the right, the water bottle, newspaper, bowl, teapot, table, etc.

    Because I naturally seek to find things that are familiar and make sense of them, my mind does not allow me to accept the image as it is framed. Instead, I automatically try to expand the image to encompass these objects in their entirety. I see the rest of the Crystal Geyser water bottle, the bottom edge of the folded newspaper, and the curved bottom of the bowl.

    But then I run into problems when I try to “complete” the image by the time I get to the person on the couch and the painting above. I don’t know what is going on. The mental question marks I have force me back into looking at the image. I am reminded of this event that is before me and consequently struggle to refocus on the image itself. I am in a mental battle.

  26. If the Francis Bacon IS violence, this IS awkward. The old man and woman seem invited (obviously let in by someone), yet unwelcome in this sickly green room. Their conservative, buttoned-up clothing only explains why they'd feel awkward and out-of-place in this strange room, adorned with a hodgepodge and din of senses: colors (the greens, contrasted with sharp yellows, blues, oranges), smells (cigarettes and nail polish), and sights (nude legs, a mid-orgasmic woman on the wall, a splash of asian teapot decor). The blue-dressed old man and woman are clearly from a land of blue, of sameness, and when overwhelmed by the strangeness of the room, they are shocked.

    The viewer becomes part of this strangeness, his/her own clothes, scent, sight becoming just another eccentricity of the room.

    Something interesting: we talk about images being non-referential; what do we think about the gaze of the man and woman? We look and see them staring and want to turn away from this image to join their vision.

  27. I don’t even know where to begin. All I know is that I was cracking up when I saw this image. I don’t know, it seems very carefully constructed yet very raw. All the colors match with each other: Green - couch, teapot and cup, Gatorade cup, tv-remote, lip gloss. Light blue - Old lady’s jacket, inside that popcorn bowl, lamp and creaming lady’s jacket. Red - Pictures’ background, lighter, table cloth and picture on her right. The screaming lady picture seems to convey that old lady’s emotion. Perhaps pathos of everyone in that room including me. So many vivid colors, beauty and chaos intermingling me with slow-motion. I laugh no longer.

  28. The two individuals (with shown faces) in the image do not seem to actively acknowledge a camera, and yet the posturing does not seem impromptu, it is possible they are acknowledging something’s presence with them. The very presence of a camera tends to change people’s position. The fact that there is someone in the room with them who seems comfortable in the surrounding but is not drawing their attention or the attention of the camera may show a indication of the camera’s interest in that which is out of the ordinary.

  29. The image snapping snippets of historical surrealism.
    A time piece puzzling time; jigsaw creation of a cultural palate; hybrid of vintage and modern; hip and retro; fusion of styles; the youth and the elderly billowing images, fashions, trends like the cigarette smoke entering the portraiture of a gaping mouth: CONSUMPTION. Inhale and exhale. The space between.
    Post-modern cartoon caricature of a tawdry, obese gullet, an abysmal mouth vis-à-vis a noir mysterious painting lining the adjacent wall: cigarette stand on a rainy Parisian night, or an ad for Las Vegas’s Flamingo Hotel? Jazz and pop; dull and bright, the affect of hues. MTV hyper-speed, French surrealism, quick cuts, a pictorial mirage of magazine sensationalism.
    An aging contemporary adorned with regenerating out-of-date.
    Green tea kettle and cup, 50’s pea green couch, Gatorade green, lime green walls: generational gaps of color in one spatial frame.
    The bob haircut, beret, mittens, chic winter coat, sitting upright and stern. Sprawled bare legs, campy Ikea-esque lamps, silver remote controls, nail polish. Naked Future, clothed past; plastic future, fabric past. Quaint water jugs for Gatorade, Crystal Geyser, popcorn in a nebular bowl, newspaper with Columbus Day Sale or movie ad.
    The garish vibrancy of appliances, commercialism, technology; objects of the new aesthetic.
    A Sears refrigerator and an aging Mervyns model with an Irish flat cap, machine washed jeans, plaid button up, and fleece.
    The coloration of syndicated detail, the art of the corporate: a new collective particularity under a new shared roof.
    The living room, a new nature, an art of the artificial, a pastiche of antiques, now and then muddles into WHEN?

  30. Everything's a pose, except the frame within a frame that's not a photograph. But even that's posed, though it's pose might represent a second life, one that happens after the life it has of it's own right outside this photograph. If it exists outside this photograph, that is.

    Legs are just those, legs. There is no reason to believe there is anything above them. Popcorn is just that, popcorn, no matter what else it smells of. And the dirty socks have nothing to do with the detached legs, and everything to do with the old man's nose.

  31. It breaks beyond the edge—the edge where eyes are looking in it, prying everything as everything pries open everything on the brink of the eyes. This picture fills an ocean of imagery and it is draws everything in it, viewer and viewed alike. It is so “up front” that participation in this event is almost involuntary. Once immerged, the areas of the image flood over each other in wavelike re-form. The curlicues of the smoke may be sorts of relics of this flooding process, folding over and ascending and descending and flowing and hesitating as smoke can. The smoke provides only one reference area amongst many. All of the spaces are constantly inviting and calling and also coming and listening to the flow of the room. The vase converses images as effectively as a radio does its various stations. An immersive in-perience.

  32. The color affect of this image is delicious. A cool blandness seems to tint the colors. An almost deadness. Even the smoke. It's not swirling and dancing in the air. It's just kinda hanging, lingering with some density. The skin color of the people are pale. Those legs almost look like they could be from a cadaver.

    The position of the viewer is strange. The people in the room are facing you, but looking elsewhere as if you don't exist. Yet, because they are facing you it seems like you're there. The faces are hard to read because they're not looking directly at you. And you cant even see completely the face on the painting. Much less the face that is supposedly connected to the body of the legs. And so again, you feel almost like a ghost. Your existence is not acknowledged. The colors seem to evoke a feeling of wintry lifelessness.

    But. There is one color in here not repeated in any other "object/furniture/place" of the image. And despite the many faces and non-faces not looking at you, there is one face that is looking directly and joyfully at you.

    The golden honey bear of life. :)

    And so there is a co-mingling of ghostly ignorance, joyful acknowledgment, cool deadness, and warm vibrancy.

  33. This image offers the viewer a sort of buffet of images, a richly varied assortment of objects prepared for the pleasure of viewing. Each thing appears conspicuously discrete from all other things, resonating with its own distinct color, shape, texture, and glow. The people pictured are no different, at least not anymore than the popcorn is different from the honey. They appear stripped of all motion and pathos, with no sense of control or interest in the things around them. If there is any expression on their faces, any pathos clinging to their averted eyes so easy to stare at, it is the steady, contented focus of a prolonged gaze. They seem to be halted in their viewing, seeing stupid in fact--thus dumb, thus inanimate. Their engagement in viewing renders them conspicuously viewable; in fact, the man is framed by consecutive doorways and the woman framed by the back of a canvas on one side and a frame on the other (the feet are, of course, just feet just as the cup is just a cup). It is exactly the sort of seeing that makes one so easily seen and exactly the sort of seeing proffered to the viewer, and thus the viewer too exists on a level plane with the objects, with the image. The perspective is, after all, straight ahead at a 90 degree angle to the floor, probably midway between the floor and the ceiling.

    So this image creates relationships of simultaneous equality and difference. How does this happen? Well, each thing appears to the viewer separate only insofar as it overlaps with something equally separate. The honey glows with such light warmth because it is in front of dark blue carafe, behind a green teapot, on top of a shining red tablecloth. Each thing seems utterly particular in its visual qualities, yet no thing is utterly special or privileged. Every single object is partially obstructed or offset by some other thing and yet is simultaneously illuminated by it through contrast; thus we have not a buffet as one might encounter in a restaurant, but one in which things stray into an adjacent containers--not an appetizing buffet at all, but a feast for the eyes nonetheless, a marvelously marbled melange, a scrumptiously scrambled smorgasbord.

  34. An image within an image hangs on the wall. Or is there only one image, this image?

    A cigarette produces smoke, and the smoke appears to moving upward. Or does the painting create smoke moving downward? Is it possible that the smoke is not moving at all?

    The honey is reflecting the lighting set-up outside this image. Or does the light of this image derive from an illuminated honey?

    The legs within this image are attached to a person, who is merely beside this captured scene. Or are these legs only legs, with no human body attached?

    An image is only an image. This image does not suggest anything outside this image, only within.

  35. The painting in the upper left hand corner, where smoke inter-mingles with, and echoes, the brushstrokes on the canvas, really says it (or rather screams it) best. This image toys with the viewer’s sense of reference; they are confronted with contradicting signals, confusing the authentic and artificial. It looks like a real house: the sock, the bare ankles that still have sock lines impressed on them—those ankles feel at home here. The two other figures do not. She wears a hat, scarf, mittens, coat and a look of paralyzing discomfort. He appears at the start of a heavy sigh, his lip bit, tension in his hand, furrowed brow. He is not sure what to make of this place, and with good reason. The colors are too vibrant—the electric violet water-jug, that honey bear that seems to glow from within, the sheen on the floor lamp, they all seem so contrived. But it doesn’t end there—the sheen glistens off the woman’s face, giving it a waxy texture and engulfing her in the image too.

  36. As I stare at this image I am overwhelmed. Vibrant sensual experiences abound as I confront a plenum of infinite texture, color, consistency and depth. My gaze scans the image like fingers over Braille; I move with varying speeds and intensity as I pass over deep red lipstick and dead cold stainless steel. Each of these moments of experience invites my gaze to intimately intertwine and engage. As I sense the utter immateriality of popcorn I can feel the viscous honey slowly setting its sights on my eyes, determined to absorb me into its own complexity. My gaze takes on the nature of its object, I wisp around amidst the smoke and I roll around with the honey. I look for the water each time I need to cleanse my palate and prepare for another experience.

  37. What is most striking about the image is that it ostensibly assembles unremarkable forms in a deliberate arrangement. The parallel color scheme--the red painting and the table cloth, the navy of the man's sweater and the pitcher, and the pale blue lamp and the woman's jacket--reinforce the reading that objects in the image stand in a fixed, contrived relation to each other. However, the shapes, forms, ways of going proliferating within the frame are pulsating. Rather than fixed, the objects are in flux, as they comingle. The stack of cups, the man in the door way, the cigarrette smoke, the couch and the painting are entangled in a collective space, the frame. These objects do not stand in opposition to each other. They do not threaten each other's existence, but instead are integral to each other's constitution and being in the world.

  38. I don't know how to grasp this image.
    I've been staring at it since noon. Late for class.
    Fine. I'll pick a handle. Tea? Water? Or shall I grab something from the fridge? (and i'm out the door..)

  39. The event of seeing this image is an explosive one- all at once, her red lips and the green couch and the twisting smoke enters into my eyes and I feel the perfectly set-up nature of this scene. Everyone in the space consumes it completely, but at the same time turns away from it- eyes shifting slightly to the left, a screaming mouth, cut-off feet. This is not an image of "eclectic art" and "beautiful colors"- it IS honey, and gatorade cups, and blue, and wrinkles, situated before our eyes by the photographer as a glimpse into how HE sees. We are alien to his world, but at the same time so undeniably enmeshed in how the image appears in our eyes that the result is a repeated explosion. Look away, look back- the image keeps changing. The PROCESS of this, is simply beautiful.


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