Thursday, July 22, 2010

The art of photography - Henri Cartier-Bresson’s ZEN of archery

There is something of the order of the divine miracle in the photography of Cartier-Bresson due to his knack of being able to capture the “satori” of any passing moment into a translucent geometry where all the points and lines of a situation come together in an instantaneous sculpture of everlasting time, at which precise moment the photo is taken.

It’s all about “right” timing, the “decisive moment” as Cartier-Bresson calls “it”, no less and no more in time’s arrow chaos of sources, the culminating point or tipping point, at edge of chaos, and only there, on the arrow tips of time, is the photo decided and finally shot : three seconds latter or earlier, and the “two passing women” in a precise relation to an ever revolving background, would have been lost for all eternity, and the geometry of coincidences between things would have not occurred...lost in the ravenous insignificance of time’s hunger for space.

Photography is the art of time and light, of right timing at the speed of light, which allows no measure by any clock standards except the trained eye of synchronicity, the “meaningful coincidences” of which Cartier Bresson was one of the artful master

A weaver of light in time’s passing fabric, like a möbius strip biting its own infinity.

Moulding the quicksilver arrows of light upon time’s everlasting shadows is the art of photography

It’s more about archery and the photos as arrows hitting or creating the bulls-eye of the target, than technological camera work.

And it’s not for nothing that Cartier-Bresson’s holy sacrament was Eugen Herrigel's “Zen in the Art of Archery” and not a manual on photography in which to learn the trade.

Facing the chaos of the street, of the crowd, of the hustle and bustle of life, Cartier-Bressson’s shoots his archery of arrows hitting a perfect broken symmetry between all the disparate elements of a passing chance that any moment of time provide

Shooting the arrow of the target as a suspended offset harmony, on the edge of chaos, like a clap of thunder in the stormy sky. A flash of sculpture in time’s passing hunger

A broken symmetry of perfect intent in which all the disparate elements of any scene are broken together by the “symphony” that the art of photography brings to life’s chance occurrences

For Cartier-Bresson, chance is a magnet of implicit form of which it is the artful task of photography to explicit at any one moment, but not at any given moment. All the visual figures are contained at any moment, but only the art of photography decides of the "wheres" and "whens" the thunder of explicit form hits the implicit contained being an epiphany of light in time's rigorous mortis of space... a rictus for a smile...