My series of black and white street photography that documents Fat Tuesday in Ajijic, Mexico has been featured in the Huffington Post. Head on over and check it out – they were nice enough to let me include a small essay about the experience.
Especially thrilling for me was it was not some writer with and interest in arts (nothing wrong with that) but an artist and a writer named Micheal Ernest Sweet. His work has always impressed me and this interest from a very accomplished street photographer based in New York is very encouraging. Generally when artists and children like your work then you are doing something right.
Thanks to Pat Apt for her support, encouragement and providing me the space to exhibit this work.
Compositions exploring the dynamics of crowds in public spaces, centered on ceremony, has been an emerging interest for me. Formal issues relating to classical works, the sociological gaze within a post-colonial framework (in particular D.H. Lawrence’s problematic and revealing Mornings in Mexico) as well as critical interest of Mikhail Bakhtin’s Carnivalesque theories are reflected in this narrative.
If you happen to be in the mountains just south of Guadalajara stop on in and say hi.
We went to the coast for three days. Jen’s brother-in-law was caught in an avalanche back in Canada so we wanted to spend some time here before she left to help her family. We camped along the beach along with other travellers, many of whom were surfers from all around the world.
We woke up in our little tent on the third day with Norwalk Virus like sickness. I leaned out of my tent and threw up. Jen could barely walk through the heat to the shared bathrooms. Apparently everyone staying here at the campground for any extended time caught the same sickness.
This is a good time of year for a critical reading of the landscape in my neighbourhood, and particulariy into the industrial section just north of here. The trees have no leaves and the snow is (mostly) gone leaving the curves of the land and the angles of the industrial structures bare. The snow makes the dirt go away and now detritus is everywhere before the green veneers over it.
I was wrong about nature seeping into cracks of our urban environment – at least in this place. It’s as manufactured as anything spit out from one of these plants. Trees are there to obfuscate the view from the strips of public still left in this area. Where we are supposed to look, how we look and what we see from a passing car has been organically reacted, funnelled and appeased to. Right now, the constant burned mechanical tinge in the air is stronger than usual. The wind, usually a force in the lower city, is even more pronounced during the early, dirty Hamilton spring.