Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields (Jackson Browne)

Mmmm - deep!! I love this photo! A double exposure that I composed in my room at number 4 Ramelton Rd. We moved there from Korma Rd...

SIDE BAR: ...with a brief stop off in an old house rented in Asquith Ave, Mt Albert from late 1973-1974 while Ramelton Rd was being built. I loved the time we spent there. The house was close to the railway line and my bedroom was a tiny lean to that was the closest room to the tracks. I'd hear the bells first, then the train would rumble its way past. I had my first go at School Certificate exams late in 1973 while we lived there - I was physically sick before them and I only passed two subjects. I also got a bout of chicken pox during my second attempt at School C in the first half of 1974 so I was off school for months. And yet I loved this time!! It was, in many ways, the making of me. I learnt self discipline during this time and I had some amazing friends at Mt Albert Grammar who were living close by and who are friends still (Greg, Mike, Pete). Here we are in the Senior V of 1973/1974. Mike is the big dude in front of the class signboard thing each time and Greg, of course, is only in 1974's version (row 2 second from right). Pete was in a different class. See if you can find me.

Too tough? Look behind the teacher (Mr Herbert - don't get me started) in 1973 and try row three fourth from right in the 1974 version.. Some other great guys in these photos too (apart from us that is) - Nicky Singh, Stephen Sinclair, Brian Wood (brother to Sugar Pie/Honeybunch), and Vernon Kingstone (who is next to me).

We moved into Ramelton Rd in time for me to resit School C and pass.

This photo, like the portrait on the left, was taken during my self-indulgent University years (I'm wearing an Auckland University sweatshirt). I wanted a photo which was consciously looking at my self who was reading (I was studying Henry Miller's books at the time). I also remember being taken by Robert Bly's poetry (his volumes called The light around the body and Silence in the snowy fields in particular) and this was my attempt to do a self-portrait.

In the photo, both versions of me seem to be floating/radiating light. This is, of course, a happy consequence of the double exposure. Behind me are my record cupboard doors. I seem to be flowing into them and they are even cutting my watching me into half again. Quite a nifty effect.

Keegan sent me this neat definition of the photograph the other day by Roland Barthes, and it's worth sharing in light of this photo:

"The photograph is literally an emanation of the referent. From a real body,
which was there, proceed radiations which ultimately touch me, who am here; the
duration of the transmission is insignificant; the photograph of the missing
being, as Sontag says, will touch me like the delayed rays of a star."

In this case I'm both a real body and yet I'm of the ether. Which one's real? The reader or the watcher? Or is it neither are real? Or both are? That version of me is long gone...or is it? I am of the belief that we don't change much of our core being throughout our life. That me is still me, although my outer shell is certainly different after 33 or so years. The photograph still touches me though. I said at the start that I love this photo. I think it captures me perfectly - a reader and a watcher who is there but a bit distant.

Your reaction is, of course, your reaction. Feel free to share.

Love and peace - Wozza


Socred said...

I had Mr Herbert for Geography in 1971 . He was an inspiring teacher in this subject. He's not looking too well in the photo , but he looked a lot better in 1975 when I met him at AUT . He said AUT teaching wasn't as stressful because he was teaching adults who wanted to be there and he didn't have the discipline problems to deal with.

Wozza said...

My memories of him are generally positive but rather than geography, it is the wide array of tangents that he went off on that I remember. I don't recall him having discipline problems though, but then this is my teenage boy fog years we're talking about!