This book is a collection of work going back to the eighties. Collected straight photographs alongside exploratory, experimental pictures. Looking to find where creative art and the mechanically photographic converge. And in the process, I have thought about the scope, limits and definitions of art. About new possibilities for pictorial representation. Of individuals, nature, the environment, societal and political aspects.
The pictures take several approaches, documenting something I found beautiful, pushing the button. Alongside is exploratory work that deals on the various levels of signification, meaning and wider cultural implications of both the photographic image and the image of any type. Expressing a range of psychic states, emotions, a logical analysis of images and a personal perspective on humanism.
I began with an Exacta 35mm in high school in 1973. Found in the house in Truro. In 1981, I was given a Nikon F2 35mm camera as a college graduation present, (Boston U, Degree in Philosophy). I used the Nikon F2 for most of these pictures. Others with a Nikon FE that my friend Masaki gave me in 1989. Recently, I’ve used an F100 I bought on craigslist.com. I also took some with disposable funsavers and a Canon AE-1. Lenses were a nikkor 50 f1.8, a 55 micro-nikkor, a 105 f2.8, a 35mm f2.8. Mostly I used the F2 or FE. Film is Fuji Provia, Velvia, NPS, Kodak Kodachrome, Tmax 100, or drugstore generic brand budget color film.
All of the pictures were done in the simplest way, working in solitude, spontaneously, doing my own thing. Using 35mm film cameras anyone can buy easily and cheaply on ebay or craigslist.
The late seventies and eighties; I lived across from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the Fenway. Many afternoons, I walked in the galleries there, sometimes in melancholy, or acute depression, or rapture and ecstasy.
By the mid eighties, I was totally engaged in the picture making process. Immersed in photography. Trying out conceptual and theoretical possibilities beyond. This ongoing project has subtly ushered me along many new pathways. On sojourns & into complicated friendships. Revealed many of my illusions about myself, about art, evoked joy at seeing beauty and being alive. Guided me towards awakenings, changes and insights.
I’d surely be living a dull and mediocre existence without a passion for the possibilities of pictures. Without a curiousity about the nature of the image. It’s role in art. It’s relation to humanism. What is possible for me.
Christopher Josh Giese, March 2010
South Curson Avenue, Los Angeles, California