Grow/Decay by Paul Myers
The profound quiet at the base of the universe emanating from the stump of a tree, an abandoned car;
the stillness, the death without stench, the telltale traces of human creativity;
the artistic compulsion, the obsession with changing the world around us:
Arrangement of the universe by the universe.
Hope and despair inspired by the profanity of everyday life.
Both judgements are stories in and of themselves.
Awareness is the creative process.
Awareness is survival.
Artists, stay on the edge of survival, hungry, hunted.
Hunted by our own judgment.
And yet, artists, we do find what we seek.
To work through the ways we are taught to see and encounter the artistic search at the base reveals over and over: photography remains a means of communication.
At the most basic level, documentary photographers change the environment they witness by electing a moment in time and arresting the ever changing nature of the objects with which they interact with through the camera.
Growth and decay, the nature of life, stopped.
Through the arrested development of the objects photographed, content transcends wood and steel, as the audience informs the moment by filling the gaps of comprehension with their own memories and dreams, with their personal past and future. Visions of hope and beautiful dreams, grim nightmares and sordid terrors.
Photographic meaning emerges in an emotional interaction between audience and object that communicates outside of discursive knowledge.
A beach is framed by the coast who’s elements constantly shift its appearance.
Sun, moon, wind, water, all rapidly affect the beach.
The beach is not alone, it is the universe.
It is defined by the tidal shifts of the entirety of its elements.
It is billions of grains of sand, pieces of drift wood, plastic shards, skeletons and seaweed piling up, decomposing and reforming into new life. The dunes shift.
Jesse Groves and Shaun H Kelly create together with their subject in this essay. The process of valuing certain spatial relationships and temporal states is the pleasure that is sought and shared through the photographs.
The images invite us:
Stick around awhile a while.
Take in our longings,
Remember what it was like and when we became who we are now.
Lift up your eyes!
Give us life,
we, your sacred memories,