My Work in “The Cat Show”

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Laurie says:

The PH21 Gallery in Budapest currently has a show The Cat Show ( a juried international photography exhibition ) that includes 2 my nudes from my book Familiar Men. It runs from April 14 to May 3. I was really charmed by the idea of a serious exhibition of images of cats.

My photo of Karl Michalak and Emory is the juror’s honorable mention. (You really need to click on this photograph.)

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Karl Michalak with Emory
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And my photograph of Tommi Avicolli Mecca with Pippina and Peaches is in the show as well.

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Tommi Avicolli Mecca with Peppina and Peaches..

From Zolt Batori, director at Ph21:

“The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself.”
― William S. Burroughs: The Cat Inside

Some may think that snapshots of cats are only for the fleeting moment, that photographs of cute kitties and lone predators are only taken to bring a quick but passing smile to the face of the viewer. Others may cherish the photos of their pets for sentimental reasons but may not think that those images are of any interest to others. And then there is an army of feline devotees out there who flood every possible outlet with an overwhelming amount of cat photos and videos. Cats rule. So much so that sometimes the sheer quantity of feline imagery may make us forget what lies at the heart of this obsession: the quality that the cat offers by offering itself. The history of photography, however, teaches us that even the greatest masters considered cats a worthy subject for their camera. Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, André Kertész and Edward Weston, just to name a few of them, all had captivating photos of cats. The bar is set high, and contemporary photographers have been keeping the trend alive ever since, exploring new directions and new possibilities in the process.

These are two photographs in The Cat Show that I especially like.

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Of Small Things No. 2 – Catherine Tsakona, Triel sur Seine, France

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Le Chat Noir – Ekin Küçük, Istanbul, Turkey

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The photos in the exhibition are varied in choice and composition and some are quite brilliant. Very well worth seeing.

“Every Illness is Narrative”

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Debbie says:

If you aren’t reading Terri Windling’s blog at Myth & Moor every day, you are missing out on an opportunity to regenerate your joy in life. When she is well, Terri writes long photo essays several days a week (Monday is always music) usually on subjects relating to creativity, beauty, and living in the world. Terri lives with a chronic illness; this week she gave us an extraordinary post about recovery.

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One of the strange things about a long-term medical condition is the abruptness with which it can overturn your life. Most of the time it simmers quietly in the background, folded into the rhythm of the days, time-consuming and annoying perhaps, but also familiar, under control. That control is entirely illusory, however, for bodies are complicated things and don’t always act in the prescribed ways that medical textbooks say they should. And when they don’t, there isn’t always a clear and demonstrable reason why. One day you’re just like everyone else: doing your work, paying your bills, making plans as though the future is ordered and predictable; and the next day you’re flat on your back. Again. Feeling like Charlie Brown the umpteenth time Lucy pulls the damn football away.

Why, you wail, is this happening again? You can blame yourself, you can blame your doctors, you can blame the Man in the Moon if you want to, but the desire to place blame, to find a reason, is a desire to maintain the illusion of control and to make life predictable once more. If I do X, then I’ll stay healthy. If I don’t do Y, then getting sick is all my fault. But life is not a straight-forward equation; it is random, messy, surprising and confounding.  You can fret, fume, cry, and tie yourself in knots trying to determine where you went wrong. Or you can give yourself over to Mystery, and turn your energy towards healing.

The piece, as all of Terri’s, is rich with visuals.

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She quotes at length from Rebecca Solnit, and it’s all more than worth reading, but I want to close with more of Terri’s own words.

It’s hard to reconcile the slow, gentle rhythms that deep healing processes demand with the pace of life going on all around us: our families, friends, and colleagues whizzing by us in the fast lane, a blur of motion. Yet there is much to be learned from the fallow time and enforced solitude of illness; from those hazy, sweat-soaked, fever-dream days when the mind, like the body, is cut off from its usual pathways and preoccupations. Illness strips us of the things we believe to be central to our identity: our daily tasks, our creative work, our usual roles in family and community. What’s left is the naked, vulnerable Self who lies buried beneath these things: the person we are, not the social construct we build, and that person is worth knowing.