Friday, August 5, 2016

A Whole New Portfolio

It has been so many months since my last post that I have moved in a very new direction. At the same time, it is a return, of sorts. I am, once again, photographing trees. I have moved out of the house, where I photographed, for years, the TV broadcasting the movies that my mother loved, into the world at large. I have photographed the landscape before, and painted it as well, for 20 years or more. Now, however, I am photographing the world on my daily walks, and presenting the world in a cross. The cross has numerous connotations, most commonly, religious; it is the basic icon of Christianity. For me, a Jewish girl from New York, that is not what the cross stands for. It has an art historical resonance - my first encounter with art history was in an Italian Renaissance class at Brandeis University with Ludovico Borgo. There, in the dark of the classroom, the first images to come up on screen were the crucifixes of Giotto and Ducio and Cimabue. The memory of that moment is, I feel, the generator of my use of the cross. That, and the way it insists on the simultaneity of the now and the passage of time - the vertical states the now, I am here, the horizontal, time passing. I have long been interested in the manifestation of the passing of time. In these crosses I continue this investigation. The symmetrical cross that I use stands also for latitude and longitude; turn it 45 degrees and it is the female x chromosome, and the marker of location, the note of where one is, the mark of personhood (sign with an x). It is also the icon in pre-Christian time for light, denoting the crossing of sticks one would do to make fire. The connotations are many and wide-ranging.

And the trees? Well, that's me, once more. Hoch Baum in German is High Tree. Tamar, my Hebrew name, translates as date tree. There is no doubt I am a tree. These pieces are, in the end, self-portraits.

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