Friday, October 13, 2006     « Men (with Pigeons) »


I came across this group on a really beautiful day about a week or so ago. I have experienced days of pure joy recently. Days in which I am so happy and everything is so wonderful around me I can barely contain it. I take on a stride to my walk, stop to enjoy every little detail, smile at and sometimes converse with strangers. The fact that I can do this says a lot about how my psychology has changed. I have a new kind of strength to me. I need to remember that the next time something awful happens.

The weather was astounding so I decided to walk home. It took a couple of hours but was worth it. I've been giving myself little breaks recently which has been a nice change from mad worker bee mode. I came across this group of men sitting with pigeons scattered around them and didn't hesitate to ask for a picture or two.


We stopped evening work last night to watch "Hansel Mieth: Vagabond Photographer" on TVO. I am very compelled and inspired by her story and photos. I am not shy in admitting that I am most interested in stories about people who come up from difficult beginnings, and most especially artists who express difficulty with empathy and compassion. While working for LIFE magazine her photos were increasingly recontextualized and depoliticized to suit a more conservative agenda. She and her husband (also a photographer) were eventually blacklisted during the Cold War and her work has mostly slipped into obscurity. This article is interesting.

There's a lot to be gleaned from her story but one thing that bugs me beyond the other obvious stuff is the way every reference to her online has closely tied her to her husbands work. Yes, they did work together at times, but they spent a lot of time away from one another working alone. Taking their own pictures. I have seen this happen really frequently when it comes to heterosexual partners who do similar work, or even work together. And often times it is the female who is marginalized. Because god knows you can't possibly see a couple as an equal partnership in any enterprise. Someone's always gotta be higher on the ladder somehow. The assumption being that the man was the REAL artist, genius (hate this word), designer, photographer, etc and she worked more as an assistant, his muse, or was just brought along for the ride. Add that to my list of "Things That Are Bullshit."

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