Photography is written about in “Anagrams,” by Lorrie Moore. Moore says:
“I would never understand photography, the sneaky, murderous taxidermy of it.”
This has to be one of my favorite quotes surrounding the subject. As for me: “it’s because I keep trying to photograph the truth and realizing it’s not true.”
Above we see Kate Moss looking seal-like. Her head looks like something attached haphazardly to balloon-wear. Resting on her “flippers” her severed legs float to the surface behind her back. Paying no mind to any of this she smiles exuberantly at the camera. By all means and appearances helpless why does Moss look so happy. She must know something the viewer (those few souls who have no idea who Moss is or what she does) does not know: a secret. She’s not what we see: the image lies to us.
Un-chiseled and laid out in 2-D we see the real Kate Moss. Oh, but wait a minute, don’t forget to read the background into the image. Who is that person following right behind with the worn-out pants unfashionably bulging over worn out unpolished boots? We’ll form our own opinion based on our values. I have read on occasion of celebrity types dressing beautifully and wearing this kind of footwear with their outfit, just so they don’t look too perfect. Someone inside is glancing backward toward us. Is that curiosity or the ‘evil eye?’
So many questions remain unanswerable in photographs. Every assumption about Moss will change depending on the background she is seen in. Change the photographer and she changes. Change the lighting and we see her in a different mood.
“Photographs are chameleons.” (N.R. Rigets)
Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets