Monday, October 15, 2007
Photography and the Good News
A small anecdote regarding what counts as a meaningful distinction in experience between a “totalitarian” and a “democratic” state: in Michael Almereyda’s William Eggleston and the Real World, the depressive photographer Eggleston--whose reliance on close-up illustrates well the involvement of the history of photography with the selective looking that is already a latent criticism of society--and his girlfriend, Lucia Birch, are talking. I don’t have the film on me, but I believe they’re listening to Roy Orbison records in an alcoholic haze and discussing how lucky they are to be alive. After a little silence Eggleston adds something like, “I mean what matters is that we’re not being tortured by the police.”
Birch: Well actually I have been tortured.
Eggleston: Well so have I.
Eggleston: But not really.
Image: William Eggleston, from Cadillac, 1999