The National Arts Festival

I’ve tried to write up this post about five times. If I were writing on paper, there’d be an avalanche of tangent thoughts cascading my bin.  I wasn’t even going to put up this post but then; I had a glass of wine, stumbled to the after party of my pity party, and decided that I was being slightly neurotic.

 Over the last few months my camera has become my right arm, learning with cunning ease, the art of following me better than my shadow. Recently I’ve been feeling a profound disconnect with my Lulu.  I have no idea why, but timidity has found its way to the banks of my creativity.  I can only describe it as a totally irrational emotional block that I experienced while I was at the Arts Festival.

Before I go anywhere, I always imagine how I’m going to shoot it. I guess this is the very root of my problem; living in the future in a projected state of mind. I get super excited, to the point were it morphs into mild anxiety.  Since I had been to Fest in the past, I figured I could schematically map all the possibilities of things to photograph. I got to Grahamstown and a very peculiar and unwelcome impotency struck me. The very will to take photos escaped my body like a silent, but volatile fart.  And that’s exactly how I felt..like a fart.

I guess I had assumed that I could slip right into the soft cushion that had molded around me for the past four years. But being back for the first time, no longer a Rhodes student, my orientation was  off. Grahamstown was no longer my home. Too much time had passed, and like estranged lovers, me and my former haven no longer recognized each other. Truthfully, I found the place quite bizarre, with its wacko weather and unusual dimming of my resolve to take photographs.  So I surrendered to this emotion. I put my hands in the air and docked my ship at the harbor of unknowing…the harbor were losers go to die.

I like these photos, but my emotional attachment to them is similar to that of a mother and her red headed stepchild. On a different note to my previous posts, they sit on the periphery of my affections.  I’m not connected with them, because when I took them I wasn’t connected with myself.  My mood and my style of shooting always align. If you pay attention to my angles and subject matter, these photos really portray every single inkling of my limbo. So when I did take photos, I didn’t really feel like it. I was so into this grimy funk that I indulged in passive aggressive photography. In a strange way that has it’s own beauty…the sense of dosconnection. The moment you realise that your fragile, that your human and that you have levels. Up down. up down. up down.

It’s weird how I attach feelings to my work, my art. A photograph is a sponge. Soaking up all the raw materials of potential magic. So when I don’t synthesis that energy, when I don’t have that intimacy with my camera, I feel like an amputee.  I was way too in my head; consumed with my discomfort and disabled by this foreign crack in my armor.

Those close to me know that I’m always beating myself up about my photography, being my biggest critic. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. It’s probably equally good and bad.  But the amazing lesson in feeling crappy is that, that same energy pushes you to slay the dragon of  future dissatisfaction.

You are very brave in reading this rant; you will be rewarded with a gold star in my heart. Just know that it was very necessary for me to reveal my not-so-perky side. To put into words, for myself, why I feel like a 13year boy with a cracked voice and pimples on my back. With blocks, the only way out is THROUGH. This has been good in bringing my mind to a stillness that will allow my photography to flourish independently from my human insecurities.

Freeing myself, from myself, is the ultimate point.

BLK SONSHINE

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CINEMA

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VUSI MAHLASELA

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MR. CAT AND THE JACKEL

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Cant remember where i took this…but this is my favourite.

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CAFE BLANCA (I will never call it Groto Mojito)

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STASH THE SUITCASE COLLECTIVE

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UNDOING

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FACECONTROL MOTHERSHIP

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wish i knew who this was…?

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Raytheon

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Alleyway Mural

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2 comments

Andrew Davies
DOPE! if this is how you take photos when you're "not into it", your skills are insane!
Jerry
hey loving the fest pix!!!keep up the great work mapo

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