07 October 2007

Stolen Idea III

"Stolen" from: Steve Durbin's Patina Project (at the Art & Perception blog).

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The above photo shows more of a scuff than a genuine patina, but I like the vaguely landscape-y illusion suggested.

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As with the rusted hinges I had photographed earlier, I think that too much graphic detail distracts from the patina (more on that in my penultimate paragraph, below). Left: a stone marker that seems to be a relic from the railroad era, along the defunct tracks at the edge of Cenci Park in Lancaster, OH. Right: a fortuitous combination of corrosion, graffiti, and the interplay of sun and shadow on a railway bridge.

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For some reason, I don't find the presence of the bolt to be as distracting as the hinge or the alphanumeric characters -- perhaps because the shape is simple enough to avoid specificity. It doesn't intrude too much with an aggressive statement of its identity and scale.

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The presence of two bolts almost suggests a narrative -- although whether one sees confrontation, separation, or tentative approach may be something of a Rorschach test... Still, I find the two shapes to be ambiguous enough to allow the patina to retain its immediacy. And, to me, that's what this "Patina Project" is about: seeing the patinas' colors and textures without (im-) the mediating influence (-mediacy) of quick identification or categorization ("that is a tree; that is a bridge; that is a car") to hedge our gaze. Facile labeling puts us at one remove from the image, as the label interrupts and defines perception.

Stolen Idea I
Stolen Idea II

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