Sonntag, 3. Oktober 2010

Inspire me: Viggo Mortensen. (part 2)

FINALLY  the missing Viggo Mortensen photobooks arrived. This is what I think:

- 45301 is a collection of Viggo fucking up. No, really it is. I have tons of those negatives and photographs that turn out blurry, empty, destroyed because light leaked in, myself. And I love them too. Because it is what comes with the trade. You shoot film? You fuck up. That's the beauty, because sometimes, when you experiment with long time exposure, as he does, you get amazing results (also in this book, but some are also in Miyelo, so I knew them already) and sometimes it's just a black or white frame with some distant blurry things on them.

The background of the pages is covered in Viggo-scribble. Out of his diaries or random notes I assume. Mostly they are unintelligible but that is okay because I love his handwriting.

So, this book is not for people who want 'perfect' photographs but for those who can embrace the mishaps and see art when it doesn't go quite as planned.

- Signlanguage is the book I'd recommend to anyone who would like to get some insight into Viggo's work.  I have given my two cents worth in this journal post.

- Hole in the Sun is a small book, square format and in it, Viggo Mortensen explores the nooks and crannies and texture of, possibly, his pool. At first this seems quite redundant but the more you look at the details, the more it makes you feel you are in a strange landscape. The object gets separated from its original meaning and a new place is created. This is interesting.

- Skovbo  was in my mailbox (those mailpeople will one day ruin my mail by always stuffing it into the mailbox) as I came back from a walk in the very cold forest. How fitting, because Skovbo holds mainly photographs of trees, accompanied with poems by e.g. Marcel Proust or Goethe and Viggo's own writing. To get some of his rather fragmented style using words I have yet to learn the meaning off, I will have to read them again a couple of times.

There is one thing, maybe a diary entry, accompanied by three photos of that moment, which makes me (and I kinda hate the word) admire him for his ability to see, not just look, but see and then find his own meaning to what he sees. Things seem to matter to him, they seem to really matter even if it is 'just' a dead crow. He respects things, both dead and alive and that makes him all the more remarkable.

The whole book made me feel incredibly calm. It must be the photos, I don't know, but I was very Zen while looking through it.

- Linger  is fantastic.

Linger made me cry.

You wanna know what exactly made me cry? That Viggo Mortensen prints 7 pages of a journal entry, dedicated to the cremating of his dog. Yes. And he is honest, and tender, and open and tells what happened, how he waited, how he could not take a picture of it, how he always keeps a journal and camera close to him (may I mention, so do I, so I get it) and then he writes: "Probably I am able to write about this with a degree of detachment because your brother Henry and I have already gone through the worst of your final decay and death progress together".

I repeat: "Your brother Henry." Henry is is son. Raise your hand if you do consider your pets a family member, as well. Now raise your other hand if you think that this man is truly wonderful. I'm sorry if I get a little fangirly here, but it's totally his fault.

He also says he remembers in his pictures, paintings and his writing. If all his poems and stories are truly memories, at least to some extent, I a) wonder what kind of life he is living because he writes about terrible things (such as a miscarriage) and b) how can he be so honest with the world and himself?

His photographs in it are the most fine art photos I have seen so far. They are calm, still moody, sometimes sad, but never hopeless. Just honest that life isn't always colorful and lively, as seems to be the case in so many of his other photographs. They are beautiful and strong. And yet fragile.

This is now my favorite book of his.

You can buy all books on Perceval Press. I now only need Coincidence of memory, I Forget you forever, Winter Songs and For Wellington.

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