May 5th, 2009

Holy Spaces

Today I offer some photos, selected out of the roll I picked up yesterday. I would call the short series “Holy Space.” Not just because it has holes in it. Also not because the pictures were made as a result of the hole in the camera. (Yeah, I know. Syd sometimes tells me I’m not allowed to use language anymore. I’m already forbidden to read signs, for obvious reasons.)

This first one is the one I took to make sure that the film was loaded properly in my camera. It’s one of the bookshelves in my office, the one where I keep my picture books, the books I am going to read next, the ones I’ve recently read and haven’t put in their proper place yet, and my office supplies. It is kind of like a shrine to my literary saints.

The tree against the sky is a favorite kind of photo of mine. In part, it’s because of the way it exemplifies positive and negative space. The tree is important, but so is the sky. Each gives the other meaning. Some part of the sky slips through the branches and the branches offer a perch on the way to reaching the sky.

This is the altar in the mission church at San Francisco de Sonoma. A traditional holy space. But look: there are trees against the sky in the background and a book right there on the altar. Problem is, this traditional space is fenced off. Only the priests got to go there. I couldn’t get a good angle, but I wanted to take a photo of the choir loft at the other end of the church; there was music for some of the chants painted on the back wall, making it the kind of holy place I particularly like, one that gets used. So the hole here is the picture I didn’t take.

And finally, this view through the mission barracks in Sonoma. The purpose of the hole in this holy picture is to let in the light. It’s my favorite in the roll, actually. Which won’t stop me from posting more of the photos later, of course.