thoughts and inspiration


Some cool mosaics I saw in Iran.  First three photos in Shiraz (2010), last one in Isfahan (2008).

(via beautyofiran)

Feeling unsure and lost is part of your path. Don’t avoid it. See what those feelings are showing you and use it. Take a breath. You’ll be okay. Even if you don’t feel okay all the time.

—Louis C.K.  (via sorakeem)

(Source: psych-facts, via sorakeem)



In Anansi or Ivy, supine black bodies fuse together into sculptural oddities that are borne out of a soluble relation to the earth. And yet a certain ironic dissonance is produced by the whiteness of a shirt in shadow, or the presence of England’s Three Lions on a pair of shorts. The antinomies of blackness and whiteness, of the earthly and the intellectual, the savage and the saviour, are here overt structuring elements of the image. But such tensions as these contrasts evoke do not trouble a long history of ethnic degradation – they reinforce it as a further instance of the theatrical acquiescence we have come to expect from subservient, primitive blacks. (…)

Sassen claims to “focus on the process of addressing the viewer,” arguing that her portraits are “about the gaze of the viewer and about my own perspective” as opposed to “some truth about the photographed subject.”

We are thus invited to consider the extent to which these images, in their repetitive subjugation of nubile black bodies, might expand our sense of ourselves or of the photographer’s perspective – that is, we are invited to consider ‘Africa’ as an expression of the West. On this logic, Africa’s representational function is purely to mirror the pressing nature of largely western preoccupations. And so the bodies in these images exist purely to serve.”

— The Stilled Life of the Pikinini: Viviane Sassen’s Pikin Slee, just published at thegreatleapsideways.com

wait, wait, wait. can we really get into this though? like, why are people afraid to talk about this? i know sassen is like a photography deity to some people at this point but did she just basically say that because she is addressing white gaze that she can be excused from it? is she saying that because she is more self-reflexive than other white photographers she can still produce these images with impunity? i would love to hear what the people in sassen’s prints and books say after they hear the line” “…so the bodies in these images exist purely to serve.” sassen, no one needs you as a ‘protecter,’ no one needs you to “withdrawing him and her from the potential gaze of the viewer…”

"I show them things they think they know or they don’t understand (like the paint) and in that way [my photographs] indirectly provoke questions about our Western view of the ethnic ‘Other’, which is often a very limited view.” what the fuck?! what wouldn’t they know about paint that you do?! YOU are a very limited view. i could go line for line, but i’m tired. i would love to discuss further because jeez, the more i read about how sassen talks about her work, the more i grow to loathe it.