Critique Sheet #4 The Decisive Moment

Ζωοδόχου Πηγής

Identification of the Moment: in front of the Church Ζωοδόχου Πηγής (Zoodocho Piyis) in Parikia, Paros; May 2017

Description: a desaturated colored digital photograph of the church that faces the beach of Kato Yialo empty save for two children walking by.

Analysis: compared to color, black and white photographs facilitate concentrating on form and composition.  Because color demands a lot of attention.

Ζωοδόχου Πηγής

Interpretation: desaturation of the foto brought Henri Cartier-Bresson to mind as his photos were often of  people within a strong architectural context. Man made geometry has no meaning if it doesn’t include man himself.

Conclusion: like Cartier-Bresson, we need to select those Decisive Moments worth preserving  and, photographing them with our mind, help them last forever.

drawing

for more CRIITIQUE SHEETS
related: Iconic Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson Takes You Inside His Creative World + Cartier-Bresson, Decisive Moments Catalogue + The Decisive Moment Article in International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies by John Suler · December 2012
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Critique Sheet #3

Horizon Line Paros

Identification of the Moment: Parian Coast, looking west, May 2017

Description: a digital foto taken of the horizon line as seen from the offing of Parikia.

Analysis: there are clouds and waves but the foto is dominated by the horizon line. The word “horizon” comes from the Greek verb ὁρίζω (orizo) meaning “to divide or to separate”.  It is an illusionary boundary that separates the sea from the sky. In fact, the picture is divided into two.

Horizon Line Paros

Linear perspective, so popular with Renaissance artists, used the horizon line as a point of departure. A vanishing point was established providing the juncture for  converging parallel lines. But  parallel lines by definition cannot converge. Thus perspective is a representation of reality but not reality itself…a lie meant to represent the truth.

Interpretation: The horizon symbolizes a far away destination many dream of reaching. But the horizon is an unkempt promise –it is only an illusion thus impossible to reach.

Conclusion: The horizon is a meeting place but also a boundary.

Distance distorts perception.

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For further exploration:  For Nietsche, all horizons are man-made… The Horizon Concept in Nietzsche’s Philosophy +  Nietsche on Drinking Up the Sea

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Critique Sheet #2

La Sussurrata Terrace

Identification of the Moment: Morning view from bathroom window, La Sussurrata, May 2017

Description: A colored foto showing a bougainvillea and a naked pergola. The purple flowers dominate the picture.

Analysis: the picture was taken from inside a window.  However, there is another “frame” created by the walls, pergola and tree trunk. There is really no focal point unless you focus on the opening in the middle that is the point of departure for some radial symmetry.

La Sussurrata Terrace

Interpretation: we could say that this image is about furnishing the frame. About A Room With A View.

The view from a window can influence our mood. Because what’s outside the window is a promise of how we can interact with the world around us. And starting the day with the view above can only produce positive expectations.

Conclusion: the frame is a container waiting for you to decide if you’re are going to live inside or outside of it.

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For an example of radial symmetry in a painting, see Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Deutsch: Nollendorfplatz 

And many thanks to EVERLASTING BLORT for having named me Blort Site of the Day!

previous Critique:  Critique Sheet for Every Day Life

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Insect Repellent

Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis was published in 1915.  It’s  the story of Gregor Samsa who wakes up one morning and realizes he’s become a giant insect.  Before being a bug, Gregor provided for his family by working as a traveling salesman. Unable to work now, Gregor’s  famiy now sees him as a burden.

Gregor, now an insect, can no longer speak.  Unable to express himself, his way of thinking changes.  Realizing that he is unwanted, Gregor dies.  Kafka doesn’t explain what was the cause of this metamorphosis, but the reason why seems fairly obvious.  Gregor hated his life because it made him feel like he was worth little more than an insect.  So he was.

Your thoughts determine the life you have. Therefore, before turning into a giant bug myself, I’m going to initiate some  intentional transformations and will myself into being what I want to be—like being happy. More than something magical, often happiness is just a result of practicing the right kinds of habits. The standard blueprint towards any self-imposed transformation takes energy. And to have energy, one needs exercise, diet and enough sleep. Plus dancing daily helps, too!

Transformation

 

drawing

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Critique Sheet for Every Day Life

Instead of a selfie, why not photograph a moment such as when sitting at the kitchen table, or looking out the window, or stopping on a walk around the block then critiquing the photograph as if it were a painting.

Just as a critique sheet is used to evaluate a work of art, we could use a critique sheet to evaluate certain moments of our day treating these moments as if they were works of art, too.

La Sussurrata

 

Identification of the Moment: a Parian Porch, May 2017

Description: it is a color photograph showing a partial view of a  porch with plants and a partial view of a patio with plants.

Analysis: the picture plane is divided into foreground and background.  This division is enhanced by the effect of controluce with the foreground being darker than the background.

The picture is dominated by nature’s biomorphic plants that contrast with man’s geometrical architecture. It takes the eye longer to move around biomorphic contours than it does to move around geometric ones. Natures wants attention.

Interpretation: the presence of a foreground and a background suggests “Here and There”–the distance that divides one place from another. One thought from another. One person from another. But our eyes help us go beyond boundaries permitting  ” there” to become ”here”.

La Sussurrata

Conclusion: observation brings things closer to us even when they are far away.

My memories are paintings.

 

drawing

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Daily Aesthetics

My friend Anthy is an expert at making life photogenic. She can turn even a simple act such as serving water into a photo shoot. Anthy’s Daily Aesthetics transforms the world around her into a magical place.

Anthy's Glasses

Anthy’s Refreshment Glasses

Below are some thoughts as to why  daily aesthetics are so important:

We are part of our environment whether or not we want to be. When you react to your environment with your own aesthetic code, you change your rapport with the environment. You, in some way, possess the place where you are just by being there. Because by being there, you, too, are part of the environment. So, if the world around us becomes a part of us, why not turn it into art?

Creating personal daily aesthetics implies creating a rapport with our environment. Art should be integrated into daily experience because it enhances life. Art is a form of consciousness and consciousness transforms us.

Anthy-s Potted Plant

Anthy’s Potted Bouquet

The use of the imagination in everyday life is fundamental. Imagination is a form of insight. It helps us interact with our environment.

Aesthetics are ideals that help guide us.

Aesthetics don’t come from what’s in front of us but from what’s inside of us.

Art helps us integrate with our environment. Art is the fusion of the inside and out.

Reacting to our environment helps maintain the flow of consciousness.

Attitude determines our aesthetics.

Anthy's Table Decor

Anthy’s Centerpiece

If we change our canons of beauty, we change our rapport with our environment. Our destiny is, in part, determined by how we interact with our environment. If the gap between ourselves and our environment is too wide, psychologically or physically we die. Vital adaption comes thru expansion.

Our thoughts keep us company. That’s why we must cultivate them.

Stasis does not lead to experience. And it is experience that shapes our sense of aesthetics.

Jean Renoir said that ‘true art is in the doing of it’.

drawing

Originally published HERE (Cynthia Korzekwa  © 2003)

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Towards Paros

Finally, Paros!

We took a taxi to the airport.  On the way, motorists were honking, zigzagging, driving aggressively. But, when asked, our driver said driving a taxi in Rome didn’t stress him out.  Like Don Ruiz who says “don’t take it personally”, he’d learned over the years to detach himself from emotional driving and just concentrate on getting where he had to go.

Departure, In The Taxi

At an intersection, our driver cut in front of a woman on a scooter because, he explained, she’d hesitated. Whoever is not sure about what they are doing will be obliterated by someone who does. Furthermore, to avoid a traffic buildup the number one rule is to keep traffic moving.

So from the taxi driver I learned that  “hesitation breaks the flow” and “impose upon others before others  impose upon you”.

Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport is better known as Fiumicino because it’s near the canal of Fiumicino. It’s an airport like all the others in that it’s a transition space filled with strangers who submit themselves to invasive security checks and high prices just to get from somewhere to somewhere else.

Airport Security with Volver the Cat

According  to French anthropologist, Marc Augé, airports are non-places. A non-place depersonalizes.  In airports, we’re no longer individuals but simply part of a multitude that’s herded from one space to another.  The only thing we have in common with others is our transience.

An airport is a place where the generic and not the specific is created. An airport is about transition and temporality. An airport, because it incites no sense of belonging, leaves one anchorless.

Rome - Athens

On the plane I thought about all the destinations I’ve had. And how ephemeral a destination is because once you arrive, “destination” no longer exists.

from the Colosseum to the Parthenon

You know you’ve arrived when there becomes here.

 

Bibliography:

Augé, Marc. Non-Places: An Introduction to Supermodernity. Verso Books. London. 2009

drawing

 

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