“Sometimes looking for flowers.
Sometimes searching for the truth.
But always remember:
beauty is in the search, not in what you find.
That’s just an excuse.” - Osho
The interaction between people and their environment is a key aspect in architects’ work, albeit varied. It is also the main subject matter of various genres of photography from photoreportage to street photography and other artistic currents.
Henri Cartier-Bresson’s ‘decisive moment’ is a fundamental concept that has deeply influenced generations of photographers. “We work in unison with movement as though it were presentiment on the way in which life itself unfolds. But inside movement there is one moment at which the elements in motion are in balance. Photography must seize upon this moment and hold immobile the equilibrium of it”, he explains in the book ‘Images a la Sauvette’ (“Images On the Run”, the english edition title being “The Decisive Moment”).
Beyond this explicit definition for the elements of an image coming together, the implication was a keen and candid observation of life itself, and our drive to find order within chaos, and ultimately meaning and purpose within impermanence. Primarily the photographic act requires us to be constantly aware of the present, moment to moment, letting go of remembrances of the past and daydreaming of the future, similar to the pure state of being in meditation.
The still point is at the heart of the creative process. To be still is to create a state of consciousness that is open and receptive. It is very natural and uncomplicated, yet it’s incredibly profound. The first step to access the still point is through single-pointedness of mind which builds our concentration (in Japanese Zen called ‘joriki’, the power of concentration). Joriki taps into our physical, mental and emotional reserves and opens our spiritual capacities. We become more directly aware of the world. It’s a fruition that comes after discipline and repetitive practice just like any other learning process. The more this state is cultivated in our life, the more it is present in our creations.
‘The space between us’ is used here with a dual meaning: it is simultaneously the morphic field that encompasses and affects habits and forms transcending time and space, and at the same time the psychological barriers that keep us in discord. This on-going photographic project is a collection of images telling their own separate stories but when put together reflect upon literal decisive moments in our lives, moments of success and failure, insight and confusion, communion and isolation, love and suffering, grace and accident. Moments that even if their memory has faded, have been decisive to where we are but not who we are.
Published at NEu Tymes vol.49, December 2014.