I took a week off, intending to do some summer reading, but instead I ran a bunch, played some basketball, and otherwise got out in the sun, and was way more active than I guess presupposed by some colleagues who rightly judge from my inerratic, middle-aged frame that I would otherwise sit around during my time off, eating… So the fixit is to get at it, and you know, make an effort… I expected to go on Instagram and make a project, doing Polaroids for the month of August, captioned with bits from William Faulkner’s “Light In August”. After a few days, I called it quits. I am too obsessive for a permanent engagement with the Internet. Writing here is enough. I like how our store is like an old-fashioned guildhall, I can chat with people about cameras and books, work things out slowly, and read in my spare time.
The poet and occasional art critic Herbert Read, under the influence of the philosopher Max Stirner, wrote about the “idiotic prejudice” which wrongly considers photography as a purely objective means of reproduction, and always at the service of a “point of view”. In essence, I agree, even if I might desire to redact the word “idiotic” in good faith (which is not to sound too pious, I am just as capable of saying “raca” (or idiot). I should point to myself and say oh vain man… I am ashamed to say that for me, at least, that takes work…)
Looking at Dave Heath’s photographs in the biggest, and best monograph on his work, a conjunction appears with the title, combining to make what I’d call an ideological value, an “oneist interpretation” of the world and individual perception, perhaps like what Hinduism demarcates as Advaita.
I think of “An Auteurist History of Film” by Charles Silver as the ultimate primer for an initiate to auteurist filmmaking. Silver wrote “The intricacies of the auteur theory can be pretty convoluted and burdensome to anyone who just wants to see a good movie”, but at the same time I think he also knew that by allowing for the concept of the auteur, even by fostering it, a more elevated conversation about cinema could take place.
Throughout his public life there was a childlike playfulness in Ali that seemed to transcend the brutality of his sport. After his career he became in appearance a peaceable, kind, and gentle man. The spectacle of violence comes through in the oversized book “Goat”, but the more economical “The Greatest of All Time”, also from Taschen, will do more for anyone who wants to survey how in the twentieth century people made myths from pictures.