On fear of loss and photography.
A few years ago, I came across this quote - 'If you want to know what a person fears losing, watch what they photograph.'
It did not make sense to me at that point but its meaning, or what I derive from it, slowly dawned over the years - as my exposure to great artists broadened and I finally learnt the art of the metaphors & analogies.
Just yesterday, I stumbled upon this prose by Hervé Guibert -
"By taking your photograph, I can attach myself to you, make you a part of my life, assimilate you. And you can't do anything about it."
This sentence reminds me of Nan Goldin's description of her work, 'The Ballad of Sexual Dependancy', as a 'visual diary.' Chronicling one's life in photographs is in a way, an escape mechanism to cope up with the fear of loss. I'd like to believe that Nan Goldin was excessively documenting her life because of her fear of loss of relationships. (Elyssa Goodman sums up Nan Goldin's work in this beautiful article.) Henri Cartier Bresson obsessed over the streets because of his fear of loss of the fleeting moment, and in so, time.
Having spent my formative years hiding behind a veil, evading confrontation of feelings and physical expression of thoughts and emotions, art to me, like to any other artist, is a mode of communication. To me, it only makes sense that I photograph the people I photograph a lot because of my fear of loss - of people and communication/connection.
It takes a great deal to share work that is personal but a greater deal to create it.