A Glimpse, A Fragment, A Monumental View

(To learn more about the “Viewfinder Project” see the original post.)

The three “Viewfinders” presented in this post seem to me like short summaries for a larger narrative. When each image is given a focus, a more monumental view can be found. Because each reveals accessible details about daily life (some perhaps overlooked), they remind me of  words by Josef Albers:

easy – to know
that diamonds – are precious
good – to learn
that rubies – have depth
but more – to see
that pebbles – are miraculous

Below is another kind of list that Elijah Gowin saved from a religious meeting. It could have easily been discarded, but it also has a resonance involving reflection, order, and a concern for others.

Elijah Gowin, Viewfinder, 4 1/4″ x 6″, Photocopy, 2006

When making requests for “Viewfinder’s” I was certain Elijah would return an example. However, I was less certain about what Emmet Gowin (Elijah’s father) would produce. My suspicion was that it would take Emmet a while to consider the problem. The opposite was true. Within about an hour of me suggesting the project, Emmet had taken some pictures at a neighborhood picnic, dry mounted one to a “Viewfinder” card, and returned it to me. In the photograph below, a flurry of activity yields an image of humor and vitality.

Emmet Gowin, Viewfinder, 6″ x 4 1/4″, Inkjet Print, 2006

I have been unable to track down the author of the last piece (the envelope it came in was miss-placed). However, the image of the open sky seems to be about freedom and a realm beyond the self. In the context of the universe at work, when I look up at the sky, I am reminded that my problems are small.

Anonymous, Viewfinder, 4 1/4″ x 6″, Ink and Digital Print, 2006

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