A decent photo of Montauk Point

Over the summer break, I visited Montauk Point on the easternmost end of Long Island and I was intrigued by the information written on a tourist pamphlet that lighthouses were the very first public works project undertaken by the United States. The lighthouse along with the one at Camp Henry, as pointed out in “Conjuring… Continue reading A decent photo of Montauk Point

Art writing needs to be activist

I find myself writing more frequently about photographs and writing about photographic exhibitions and the archive. Thinking about the photograph’s historical, theoretical, architectural, and urban contexts and attendant social issues became more insightful and rewarding in light of extended isolation from any art world experience. Time away from galleries and museums was good but I’m… Continue reading Art writing needs to be activist

Heaven in wildflower

EILEEN QUINLANLookout Mountain, 2020gelatin silver print22 x 18 inches (55.9 x 45.7 cm)framed dimensions: 24 x 20 inches (61 x 50.8 cm)edition of 2 + 2 APs Heaven in wildflower Miguel Abreu Gallery’s first post-COVID quarantine exhibition pits painting versus photography. Brooklyn-based photographer Eileen Quinlan captures the nightmare of being marooned in isolation while Cheyney… Continue reading Heaven in wildflower

Blindness and reflection

I recall Aristotle’s De Anima in Geoffrey Batchen’s article about his thrift store locket. A commercial photographic material, the locket was once deemed lacking in “intellectual and aesthetic qualities beyond sentimental kitsch,” thus making it unfit for purposes of official history (33). The invisibility of such low-cultural objects to institutional analysis nonetheless paved the way… Continue reading Blindness and reflection

Listening to Images

Campt, Tina, Listening to images. (Durham : Duke University Press, 2017) I found Tina Campt’s use of the term “vernacular photography” thematically apt. Though she never mentions it, the etymology of "vernacular" is linked to slavery. From the OED: "vernacular", early 17th century: from Latin vernaculus 'domestic, native' (from verna 'home-born slave') + -ar.* Used in… Continue reading Listening to Images

From the Secret Files of American History

A response to Black Reconstruction in America (1935) by W.E.B Du Bois There are significant parallels between the events following the American Civil War and our current political situation. Does this mean that history is repeating itself in some momentous way or is it just a case of the same old shit happening all along?… Continue reading From the Secret Files of American History

Feeling Photography/Penetraing Pictures

Elspeth H. Brown and Thuy Phy, Feeling Photography. Durham : Duke University Press, 2014  In his letters, Franz Kafka projected his uncertainties on the photograph of his fiancé and wrote how her "little photograph produces as much pleasure as pain.” Kafka continues: “It does not fade away, it does not disintegrate like a living thing;… Continue reading Feeling Photography/Penetraing Pictures

Reading American Photographs (Alan Trachtenberg, 1989)

ALAN TRACHTENBERG. Reading American Photographs: Images as History, Mathew Brady to Walker Evans. New York: Hill and Wang. 1989. Pp. xxi, 326 Trachtenberg’s book begins with a good reminder that the concept of indexical images existed well before the invention of the first publicly available photograph in the mid-19th century. The fascination for projected images… Continue reading Reading American Photographs (Alan Trachtenberg, 1989)

Hospital ministry under coronavirus lockdown

My father, Gerry, is a veteran missionary for a small local Christian congregation in the Philippines that has held Sunday service at a hospital for the last fourteen years. Assisted by my mother Beth, he has done missionary work in various workplaces since the 1980s. His current post in the Palliative Care Unit, an office… Continue reading Hospital ministry under coronavirus lockdown