observations | julie m rozman

Ramblings starting from On Kawara and “I am here”

Kawara announced by telegram: I am still alive.

My announcement is this: i am here. I wonder if it’s cryptic. To me it seems like one of those small fundamental statements. “I think, therefore I am?” No, for I am (whoever I is), with or without thinking. I observe, therefore I am? Maybe. A Buddhist question arises: who is this I that observes? and where is the I that is being observed? The line of thought goes toward observation is, and much of the rest is a mystery. (Forgive my liberties; some years ago I read a lot of Buddhist texts and they influenced me heavily, but I haven’t returned to that bender in awhile. It’s fortunately Buddhist to content oneself with pointing to the truth of a thing.)

So that’s a cursory summary of the I part. On to here. Where? Well, behind the lens, presumably. That’s a trope in photo/art history theory and I do like it. But where else? I think it’s important for the viewer not to know the locations, because I want these little windows to serve as reminders to look around. The time and date is an index – wherever I was at the time.

A little more on the nature of the beast. These are chance encounters of vision and circumstance, for the most part. Most of the photos are part humor and part study, something along the lines of Gabriel Orozco’s minor works. I wish putting up small images in the order collected had the same kind of coherence as, say, Uta Barth’s The Long Now. But they don’t and what develops instead, in the looking, is a sense for an eye and a point of view. An I, if you will.

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