©1991 Mark Berndt | All Rights Reserved

One man walking against a crowd; silhouetted so as to be anonymous; contained, but not confined, within a grid; in motion so as to be a blur yet not so much so as to be unrecognizable; displaying obvious leftist tendencies; suited, but non-conformist; approachable in the palette of an afternoon sun.

Photographed around 1991, at the ICP in New York (the one in Midtown on Sixth, not on the upper East Side), how much does a photograph say about the photographer? Are there truly any portraits that aren’t portraits of the artist too? Are there truly any pictures made with a camera that doesn’t point both ways?

The image represents – it really can’t record. Insinuated in the frame are the contributions of camera box and shutter, of optical distortion and characterization, of the chosen capture medium, of subjective interpretation, of mood and swing and yin and yang and personal perspective and the state of a digestive system.

Nothing is shown as it “was”, and everything is selected, and excluded, and presented, and denied, and nourished, and redacted, and framed and composed to further the message of that artist, about that image, to that viewer, of that moment, with that understanding, and that intention, as that statement, in that time.

We write on the darkness with light. Sentences and paragraphs and short stories and poems. We write fiction with fact, we write dreams with reality, we write impressions with scrutiny and emotions with time.

I stand behind a lifetime of doing just that, as I wasn’t able to do, really, much of anything else.

M6 | 50 | Kodachrome

©2017 Mark Berndt | All Rights Reserved