Oct 17

Images as Bookends of our Life

Minor White expanded Alfred Stieglitz ‘s theory of Equivalence by suggesting “to engage a sequence we keep in mind the photographs on either side of the one in our eye”. White also suggested that “all photographs are self-portraits” and that photographs intended by the maker “act as a symbol or play the role of a metaphor for something that is beyond the subject photographed”. As such, the story told in a carefully arranged sequence is only partly told by the images included in the sequence. The gaps between the individual images are therefore important parts of the story. Harry Callahan suggested “Photography is an adventure, just as life is an adventure” and “if man wishes to express himself photographically, he must understand, surely to a certain extent, his relationship to life”. I wonder, therefore, if an entire output of images (i.e. a lifetimes body of work) is also an equivalent that tells the story of the artist and, as White suggested, the gaps between the images are as important a part of the story as the images presented. Does our current lifetime body of work tell our evolving story with our most recent image representing where we are in our life today?