Sunday, November 11, 2007

split decision


db asked me via comment why i thought today's flickr image was divided in half. i thought it was an interesting question, so i'm reposting the answer:

i can't speak to why michikokusaki chose to split this image, but as for why i responded to it:

some quick thoughts...

this image reminds me of the memento mori daguerreotypes (or maybe more accurately a tintype) of the 19th century. the over exposure or light leak in the bottom left corner makes the image feel antiquated, even though the girl's costume and gesture clearly indicate otherwise (i think the dead twig is a particularly successful compositional choice because of how it adds to the meaning of the image). the fact that the image is split in half makes me think of the magic act where the magician splits the assistant in two. it also makes me think of an autopsy.

and any time a diptych is presented i start to think about how it affects my physical reading of the image. i automatically start to reference one image against another. the act of seeing becomes more pronounced. in this image i think it heightens the feeling of nostalgia by playing off our sense of memory.

1 comment:

db said...

I asked because I had been staring for a couple of minutes, unable to decide why it had been presented this way, and what the diptych was adding. I like your magician idea. I had been working on a 'split personality' thing, or wondering if it was actually a white tape in the image itself, like a finishing line to life. The white gown has some death connotations for sure.

anyway, thanks for the discussion.