Wednesday, January 23, 2008

grant willing

hidden amidst grant willing's idyllic american landscapes, i found this triptych of a deer carcass.

thoughts that popped into my mind when i saw the carcass: the american west, richard misrach, o'death, fan o' deer, gray, decay, gray-decay...

i love how the cropping/chopping creates a contrast between the momento mori motif and the effect of live-movement created by the divisions and repetitions. my eyes keep tripping over the frames.

i started to think about the word carcass:

main entry: car·cass
pronunciation: \ˈkär-kəs\
function: noun
etymology: middle english carcays, from anglo-french carcas, carkeis
date: 14th century

1: a dead body : corpse; especially : the dressed body of a meat animal
2: the living, material, or physical body: i hauled my carcass out of bed
3: the decaying or worthless remains of a structure: the carcass of an abandoned automobile
4: the underlying structure or frame of something (as of a piece of furniture)

the dressed body of a meat animal

or, maybe, a deceased dressed child. like the post mortem images of children from the 1800s.

death in photography fascinates me. references from the 19th century always pop into my head. but the color pallate of this image makes me think of the depression era dust storms. maybe georgia o'keefe. the steer paintings. or edward weston.

p.s. i began writing this post 2 months ago to the day; i'm not sure what made me go back to it this evening.


Janet said...

Great post! When I first saw the image I thought it was a Frederick Sommer.

bluebird said...

you are so right! i've been looking at him a lot too. i can't believe i didn't make the connection.