Thursday, September 7, 2017

What will Country say about me when I'm gone?

What gossip would Country impart at a party, after us humans have walked out of the room? I've often wondered about this. Recently I visited the place where a friend took his own life and I can safely say that nature doesn't give a fuck. Nature doesn't remember or care much for us interlopers. Today, another writer told of how, after the US mortgage crisis, people walked away from their houses. The animals moved in and the backyard pools filled with reeds and frogs.

In this context, I love the quote from filmmaker Wim Wenders about landscape photography. It is paradoxical and yet weirdly correct.

I am not a landscape photographer. I am interested in people. I am interested in our civilisation. I am interested in what traces we leave in landscapes, in cities and places. But I wait until people have gone, until they are out of the shot. So the place can start talking about us. Places are so much more able to evoke people when people are out. As soon as there is one person in the shot everybody looks at that person. If there is nobody in the shot, the beholder is able to listen to the story of that place. And that’s my job. I try to make places tell their stories about us. So I am not a landscape photographer. I am really interested in people, but my way of finding out things about people is that I do photos about their absence, about their traces.

The quote came from the great film review by Lauren Carroll Harris on the new Oz movie 'Killing Grounds.' Here


  1. In ancient Rome, some wealthy, living people attended their own funerals.

    1. How does that work?
      I did have a friend who attended his own wake. He threw a party to say goodbye.

  2. That 'own funeral ' starts to sound like that image of Cash pouring wine over his empire of dirt.
    I do like the photographer , poet , the musicians bringing these experiences inside our ancient memory.
    There's a set of lines in a Jackie Leven song thsts titled ' the sexual loneliness of Jesus christ' that I really love .. "they say that god is in the detail and I'm sure that is true, I run my thumb across Egyptian stone and the images come through, I see....

    Possibly..... "what flesh can see when eyes are blind" ( rf brissendon)