Languishing in layoffs, feeling hostile in the humidity, down on your luck or just over it, - sometimes life can seem routine, like a laundry list of chores, commitments and disappointments. We are used to processing thoughts and images a mile a minute. But pay attention. From the most common moments, the dawn breaks, the sky opens and inspiration hits. This was particularly the case for photographer Ed Kashi who was lying in bed one day when the idea for his new book Three came to him. In some ways it would be his life’s work.
That morning he dreamt of images from his vast archives flowing around in threes, like a comic strip on steroids. Particularly, he saw photos from Brazil in his mind’s eye: the leathery skin on the back of an old fisherman, calm waves of the ocean and the curve of the man’s body as he plummeted into the salty liquid bliss. Here’s how Kashi explains his vision:
They moved as a group, transformed by their relationship to each other.
Each grouping of images in the book are presented like a triptych, an artform dating back to the Middle Ages which is divided into three sections. Traditionally, carved panels were hinged together and folded. The middle panel was typically the largest and flanked by two smaller related works, although there are triptychs of equal-sized panels.
The trifecta idea became the impetus for Kashi to comb through more than 20 years of work looking for, as he puts it:
Visual connections, visual language and visual poetry of three.
No over stimulation here. In his book, images are presented with no context, no captions. Some come from the same story or location, but many only resemble each another visually. Each triptych’s order is deliberate and meaningful for some sensual purpose. This is not just a picture book but a feeling book. Kashi’s images are sometimes bittersweet and examine current issues of social and political significance, as well as the simpler things in life, bringing together the joy, sorrow, destruction, and reconstruction of a world in flux.
Still, you leave being inspired in some way.
Be sure to check out an amazing multimedia slide show produced to accompany the book launch here: http://edkashi.com/three.php
Join Kashi for the Book Launch and World-Premiere Screening of the Multimedia Piece THREE.
WHAT: Film begins 7:30 PM / Book Signing 8:30 PM
Followed by Panel Discussion and Q & A with Ed Kashi, Daryl Lang (Photo District News), and Sean Corcoran (Museum of The City of New York)
WHEN: Thursday, July 16, 2009, 7 PM – 9 PM
WHERE: powerHouse Arena
37 Main Street
Dumbo / Brooklyn
RSVP @ powerHouseArena.com. For more on Kashi visit his website at http://www.edkashi.com/. –Alysha Sideman