Sunday, June 27, 2010

Power and Metaphor

Susan Sontag captured it best when she wrote in her essay, On Photography:  "To photograph is to appropriate the thing being photographed.  It means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge--and, therefore, like power." 

Just as the boys put themselves in positions of power by deciding, among infinite possibilities, which sights are worthy of their lenses, they also establish control by deciding what those photos mean.  Nature provides the richest source of metaphors imaginable, and the boys have become fluent in interpreting these metaphors to better understand themselves, their struggles, and their successes.  Below are photos and interpretations from last week's excusion on the Upper St. Croix River.  

"When I first saw this scene, I only saw one bird.  I went to grab my camera, and when I came back there were two.  The mother had come in to give some insects to the father to feed their babies in a nest close by.  They just sat there for a while and let me get pictures.  For me, this picture makes me think that I just want to be a good father some day, and change my life so I can take good care of my kids."  -Photo called "Yellow Bellied Sapsucker Parents" by Mike, age 17 

 "To me, this dragonfly symbolizes hope, and also brings a smile to my face. It is so fragile and delicate, but so beautiful at the same time, and when it flies it is so fast and powerful.  We all have many sides."  -Photo called "Green Dragonfly" by DeVante, age 16 

"I was fishing when I spotted this spider.  It was the size of a tennis ball!  Most people would be scared, but I was just amazed, and knew it would make an awesome picture so I grabbed my camera.  I felt amazed to watch a spider walking on water." -Photo called "Spider on Water" by Travis, age 13.   

"In this photo I see a calm, settled rock sitting in the middle of chaos as the river smashes against it. It's just like my life.  I used to feel like the river smashing against the rock, but now I'm the rock sitting calmly as the river flows around it." -Photo called "Rock in the River" by Derek, age 17.

The artist intends these two pictures to be presented as a pair.  "The fish remids me of my life - hazy and unclear.  Sometimes I think that's just the way life is, but other times I just want things to be clear like the flower.  But I don't always know how to do it."  -Lee, age 15 

1 comment:

  1. Once again these are Awesome Lee! I love the thought you are putting into this. Love Mom