Gwangju Blog

Stoned Shoulders.

Stoned Shoulders


The spring has not yet arrived, but hints of it can be seen through the buds on the trees, the consistently lengthening days, and through the return of birds which abandoned us for warmer climes just several months ago. In anticipation of such encounters, may I present the image above. I feel it is relevant to this in-between time. It is a time when the calendar says that spring is most definitely here, however, its presence remains largely conceptual. At such times, we long for an innate, haptic experience of that which we are told has already arrived.

This is an interesting time also because we have to ability to visualize this juxtaposition between the conceptual and the experiential. How do we provide an experience through the screen, of such an experience as a season? This is an occurrence which we usually know primarily through an innate awareness of changes within our local ecosystem. Counting down the days until the 21st, I struggled with this the past week. Eventually, I chose to forego more overtly representative expressions of the first brave souls in sandals, or the emerging buds on the trees lining downtown. Instead the image which seemed most relevant this narrow walkway between conceptual and embodied experience what was we find above. In this photo, there is a woman, with a bird, and a leafed branch. In it, she looks sternly towards a retreating bird to her left, all-the-while holding a singing bird in her upstretched open palm. She seems to demand possession of that fleeing foul in a way that only one in desperate need of life, of warmth, of reparation, can.

The image above seems a representation of an experience of longing to feel something in our bones, what is already known in the head. For that reason, she, and her desires spoke to me this week. As the calendar now reads March 23rd, there is little excuse for her, and therefore us, not to have our climatal needs filled in the here and now. If only that wayward gull would rest for awhile on our own frozen stone shoulders.


[Image taken with a Contax T2 shooting Ilford FP4, and shot at the apex of an otherwise unassuming alleyway in northern Gwangju.]


(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)