A Passing Presence
The photograph isn’t what was photographed. It’s something else. It’s a new fact.
~ Gary Winogrand, quoted in The Man In The Crowd
Photography developed a fugitive poetics in the 1940s and ‘50s, … In this mode the photographer comes across scenes, instants and installations which suggest meanings which are hard to put one’s finger on.
~ Ian Jeffrey, How to Read a Photograph
"And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction! “And this, too, shall pass away.”
~ Abraham Lincoln, The Milwaukee Speach
Carved and worn into the rocks of Tsankawi, New Mexico, the petroglyphs and paths made by a people lost to history ask questions about the permanence of New York City and of the art in our museums. We, and the photographs that we make, are but a passing presence.
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The images here are a selection taken from a book, A Passing Presence, that can be downloaded as a PDF file. If you do download the book, note that it was designed to be viewed two pages at a time, with the left page speaking to the right page and vice versa. Adobe Acrobat, and other sophisticated PDF viewers, can be configured to display two pages side-by-side; if you have the screen space to do this, it will provide something close to the intended conversations between the images.