Total Pageviews

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Talking about Bowie

Every fortnight I connect with my photography buddies on SKYPE and we chat about the state of the medium, about philosophy and art in general. There is never any exact theme or subject matter to discuss but somehow the conversation flows and there arrives a point where one of us touches upon something significant and it as if a light flashes on and we do a sort of Spock mind lock. And so it transpired this morning, when suddenly we were talking about the malaise of contemporary photography and I am thinking, what malaise?

It is just a day after David Bowie's death and the truth is that we are each of us fuzzed up emotionally, not knowing quite what to say or how to react in any clear way to the news. He has disturbed our tranquil fortnightly chat.
We have no choice but to talk about what he represented; creativity, innovation, change, and above all, a continual smashing of that vessel we call normality. And what is he doing to us now? Confusing us, that's what. Because our adventurous inner selves really hate normality too. Lazarus, Jesus Christ, resurrection, death (but eternal life too remember). He is making death a theatrical event but didn't Jesus do just that too?
For the most part, I guess he lived in a realm he created for himself and is/was offering this as a gift to us others through his music and by making himself into an art form, one in which now he has even incorporated into his own death. For us to learn something? But what exactly? I'm thinking seriously about this, there's a lot to think about in what he has left behind.
So much has already has been said and written about Bowie in just these last 24 hours and I would bet that there is so very much yet to come which will surprise us all. 
Who knows? Maybe his death is just another beautifully choreographed beginning (but this is just my fanciful thinking;  because his life, and now his death, naturally foment such thoughts).
But he is gone (is he?), and we are alive (are we?). And our talking about him took us to the awareness of how damn lucky we are to have time left to add to this world. To add ourselves, our work, our creativity and our art in whatever form that might take, as a gift to life, a gift to our planet.

So our conversation tailed off as less of a conclusion but more of a dawning reaffirmation that creativity is a doing verb. That the very act of doing, making, manifesting in any medium, opens the door to that creative realm, a sacred place which is available not just to the few, but to us all.
We must thank him for that.
Next 'Photography and Awareness' workshop in September, in Italy