The Violent Tapes of 1975

July 13, 2009

The violent tapes of 1975

An image from David Lamelas’ frustratingly elusive photographic series ‘The Violent Tapes of 1975’. I encountered this a few years back in the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna – housed, incidentally in one of the finer public spaces in Europe – and it made a strong visual impression. Sharing similarities in composition and content with Chris Marker’s ‘La Jetee’, what I find most intriguing about this photo is the ambiguity of the perspective. It’s like one of the face/vase illustrations that bears repeat viewing as it’s imprint changes each time. In this case, we wonder whether the man on the right is sliding down towards us, or falling away from us – the eye being drawn at first to the right side of the image, and then being provided context by the characters above the sliding man on the escalator.

It might also serve as a visual metaphor for the fraught nature of my blogging experience. Is this a point of departure or a destination? Am I screaming in pain? Who knows.

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