As many of you know, I basically finished Women of Japan last year and it had its first Japanese exhibition at the end of the summer. This is the first time since I started photography that I’ve been without a project. I see Women En Large, Familiar Men and Women of Japan as a continuous body of work. I’m planning to take 2008 to think about photography, think about my work, clear my head and see what happens. I think that the next work I do will be something new and completely different. The blank space in front of me feels marvelous. I expect to be writing here about my thoughts as they evolve.
One of the reasons I do portraits of people in their environments is because of the sense of time and history that it gives. Lately I’m been thinking about time and memory
I saw Josef Sudek’s work for the first time at MOMA in San Francisco in the 80s. It was an exhibition of about 20 small black and white photos in a hall space and they knocked me out. Aside from their exquisite composition, the quality of the light in his outside work was both marvelous and individual. They literally sent me to Prague to see if his “Prague light” was real. It was, and that trip is a story for another time.
Today I am thinking about the way that his “window” and “garden” photos bring up a sense of time and memory for me. Sometimes it’s a sense of immediate intimate time, sometime his work feels like deep time, long history. They make me think about a kind of memory portraits, portraits of places and objects that speak of people even in their absence.
It’s complex work with lots of layers of meaning, but right now it speaks to me of time.