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Their Combination Is Spectacular | by an untrained eye
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Their Combination Is Spectacular

September 27th, 2009 - Geneva, Switzerland

 

I guess in an ideal world I would be marking my return to Flickr with a knockout piece of original work - probably a piece of street photography, my preferred genre - that would bring my old contacts flocking back to my stream. The fact is, however, that I'm not yet sure that my comeback is going to last, and I certainly haven't yet refound my photographic mojo.

 

Not that this is an entirely inappropriate choice of image, mind - it's a detail from perhaps one of the largest works of street photography ever created - a piece called "Their Combination Is Spectacular" by the German artist Thomas Bayrle, which currently covers several walls of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO) here in Geneva. Simply put, it's a massive patchwork of lozenge-shaped images, some of which contain nothing but paved flooring, others of which show a person, occasionally standing still in contemplation, but more often than not striding purposefully towards an unknown destination.

 

I found the whole work bewitching, and was particularly taken by the way it seemed almost to absorb the sunlight coming through the museum windows and the shadows of the blinds, appropriating them such that they corroborate the visual illusion that makes us want to believe that the figures portrayed were in fact all in the same place at the same time, busily criss-crossing some massive crazily-paved station concourse, and not, as is doubtless the case, photographed over the course of days, if not weeks or months, in a host of different locations. (Looking for information about Bayrle on the net, I came across this description, which seems to me to some up this work rather well : "Bayrle's work grows out of that we might call 'conceptual enthusiasm': the belief that the real is just as susceptible to being mythified as the mythical is capable of engendering strong effects of reality.")

 

So there you have it. I'm back. Thank you to everyone who left such encouraging messages earlier in the year. Those who stated with such certainty that I would be back may proudly proclaim "I told you so." Those who offered cookies may put the oven on.

 

I don't know when I will be posting next, or how often I will be posting. I will try to catch up with my contacts' streams over the coming weeks (though some of you may have noticed my fleeting, ghostly presence here from time to time over the last few months). And I will try to keep my accompanying texts shorter in the future, I promise.

 

Oh, and one more thing : I will be on vacation in New York from October 29th to November 4th, and probably in Paris from November 5th to the 8th - if anyone would care to meet up, please let me know.

 

It's nice to be back. I think.

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Taken on September 27, 2009