Friday, January 04, 2008

Strange Portraits- Strange You and Strange Me


Now that Amman hosts a Rembrandt exhibition consisting basically of reproductions of the famous portraitist, my other source of echoes informs me that Diane Arbus's huge archive was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of N.Y. What does huge mean, when the person at stake is a great and suicidal inspired artist? 7,500 films, photographs commented by her before her suicide in 1971, some of her most famous pictures and a value which exceeds the 3.5 millions EU.
Born in 1923, she took the advice of her instructor Lisette Model seriously and she specialized her shots at people who live on the edge of societal acceptance.

People on the streets, in their homes, in the asylum, in temporary paradises of difference (or shall I write it differance now that Derrida is not among us?- parades, soirées, parks and masquerades), twins, dwarfs, manly women, delicate men, giant sons and minimal parents. The documenting and, simultaneously, tenderly humane eye of Arbus resulted in a classic value that the thirty six years and a half which have elapsed since her death did not harm the importance of her work, something rare concerning the art of photography.

She said:"What I'm trying to describe is that it's impossible to get out of your skin into somebody else's... That somebody else's tragedy is not the same as your own."
She also, presumably, said:"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.", something that may stand valid also in other accounts of life, in other forms of art.
I admire people who have an outlook,
I admire the ones who are geniuses with a cause,
I admire those who show me another world, beyond my hypnotized brains, in front of my lazy eyes.
I admire those who erase by their nails the definitions next to the term "normality".
Will I stick to them for the year to come?
Lucky N.Y. Metropolitan Museum.

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