© Luko G-R (
and 0 draft(s),
created on 12-12-2007
7 project comment(s),
33 photos comment(s)
PROJECT DESCRIPTIONI chose the title of this project as enigmatic and as experimental as I could find.
It happens that I am into a period of my life where I'm asking myself a lot of questions especially about the way of living I'm going through and the meaning of my work, which I start to despise. Generally not good news. For the ones who still don't know : I'm a consultant.
For the french people of my generation, Houellebecq the writer has been quite influential since his first novel, which was titled in english "Whatever" (first clue), and which french original title could be translated as "Extension of the struggling area" (second clue). This novel describes the life of a consultant (first coincidence) going through a breakdown after realizing he's been exploited and that the economic rat race, -the struggle-, has extended to his most intimate self, which he can't escape, and the usually more private areas of life where the economic rules have nothing to do. Therefore he gets more and more distance and disinvolved in what he sees or does...
I discovered that Houellebecq was born in Reunion island where I spent three days for business last week (second coincidence), locked in my hotel or in a conference room. The idea of bringing with me the less capitalistic tool I could use to come back with a short experimental story naturally blossomed to my mind.
I then swiped the dust off my cheapo medium format Lubitel, (a genuine product from the ex-USSR) which I am now using as a paperweight, and went down to the kitchen to grab the last three 120 film I found in the egg compartment of the fridge.
Once landed after a 11h low cost flight, it turned out to be really experimental conditions : short of sleep in the ghost town of Saint-Denis-de-la-Reunion (SDDLR, third clue) during a sunday... paralleling with the original idea, as Houellebecq's "Whatever" takes place in a off season dreary french provincial town, before and during the Christmas festivities (third coincidence).
As for Fim do Mundo, I suppose it's about an ending of the project. You'll see by yourself.
I'm not sure the whole project has a plot, I had felt this sleep lacking day like a dream awake, struggling against sunlight and tiredness. I don't know whether you've already noticed that the lack of sleep, as well as depressive environments enhances the inner dialogue.
Of course there's nothing to expect from the technicalities of the tool, I guess mobile phones take sharper pics nowadays and I'm still wondering about the experimental lay out I chose..
You should probably imagine the narrator's voice off... it's me talking...
... but you tell me. In any ways, don't worry, it'll be a very short project : 5 to 6 photos concentrated on one day.
first off let me get it off my chest and ask a question: why do consultants to for a living (apart from bs ofcourse?), the once I know only tell you want you want to hear and sound smart.
Had a chance to see and go over the project couple of times already, reading a first paragraph automatically picked my interest, being at the same junction for a while now I am defintely ready and willing to dig deeper into your project and see what I will find, and how much of it will be me;-)
I am very impressed with the structure and how all elements of the project interact and depend on each other, the text and the photos, the frames, the photos (even though I do think the photography is excellent, and would speak to me with no text or explanation) for me are playing the supporting role to the text, just helping the vision, almost being like a paint covering the sound structure of the brick house, just making it prettier. Appreciate the fact the text is retyped in the comments section, while the handwriting is visually very appealing, for old guy like me who has been reading only from a word processor for the last few years this is a blessing in the sky.
Tools used (and here I am referring to photograph tools and not the pen) are not coincidental at all, gather this type of equipment was widely used when you were a kid, hinting again the origins of the story, the current state of affairs, what I am waiting for is the second part of the trilogy where I can read how you got from a lil kid growing up in various parts of the world to the consultant who can't stand the job anymore (although I guess I had a pleasure reading it over the last few years in your individual mini stories).
more ramblings to come....
Hello Monseigneur Luko,
My apologies for the belated comment to your project, even though I originally followed the story as it unfolded. Since my comment to your introductory photograph where I enthusiastically referred to the influence of Max Pam as a travel photographer, but also as a storyteller, I happened to come across another reference (somehow led by your advice) which made me approach your project under a slightly different prism. That happened one late afternoon in January, when I spent a couple of hours in Geneva’s main public library going through the work of B. Plossu, finally admitting that I personally find your Reunion experience (atmosphere) closer to his universe than to Pam’s. This is not be seen as a maniac tendency to systematically associate one’s work to someone else than oneself, but as the inevitable fact that our behaviours and stimuli are influenced by others. We cannot put a finger (at least a rational one) on what cannot be defined, and certain blurred images are not really the result of a defective camera/lens, or a lack of adjustment, but purely the translation of a wider blurred brain/vision. The state of trance allows us to step beyond Time and once this dimension appears as an abstraction, our conscience appears naked and uncontrolled. We look at “things” through” the veil of our subconscious, not very far, sometimes, of a state some would associate to madness, or alienation to be more academic.
Even though I think your project carries a certain density, mainly originated by your personal implication in the intrigue, I am still left with the impression that you intended to, but finally still not gave very much of yourself. Like a man who would take a glance at the abyss and quickly step back horrified by the idea of making one single step further. Perhaps because it is a short experience, one single day in the life of a consultant going through one thousand questions about the sense of his life. I would have liked to see exactly the same project for a longer period, one week perhaps, where we would follow the slow decadency of a wise man towards real alienation. Or despair. The process interests me, the transition, and not the mental states in themselves. It is the process that makes the strength of Houellebecq’s narration. This is to say I whish you had pulled further. Your project is much too short, which gives us the impression that you are always in control of yourself even when you want us to believe that you are stepping on a sort of dark side of the cortex.
I also think that apart from your introductory note, which is excellent, you could have done much better with your notes on photographs. I understand the short sentences, sometimes appearing as fragments – which makes perfect sense -, but find the style lacks homogeneity in the sense there is no solid transition between the humour and the more serious parts, between the rational observations and the irrational thoughts/impressions originated by tiredness. Once again, perhaps the transition would be more obvious if it was a longer project/period of time.
My impression on style/form. Congratulations for popping in with such originality. As others have said, you certainly opened a door that may lead to original ways of presenting a project, and that is certainly an invaluable lesson. I was certainly enthusiastic to see the text written on the frame, but thought initially you would do it only for the first and last photographs. Adopting the same type of frame in between seems excessive to me, and I do think it does not contribute to strengthen the idea itself, paradoxically.
Now, as a final word, let me say that even though I like your photographs, I do not think any of them excel per se, which I will put on the account of your mental state (tiredness) and your equipment. But perhaps it was my error to look desperately after an outstanding photograph, an old habit which I find not obvious to quit, since this site is about the way photographs are articulated together and not about lonely stars on the firmament. Anyway, I am not on Photoholik for the sole quality of photographs, but for the overall output in a member’s project, and that is why, considering the above impressions, that I think you have well succeeded in immerging us in your depressive atmosphere. Hence a full mark.
Well, this challenged my conceptions of photojournalism. I can be very strict about my aesthetic principles and one of them is that I don't believe that a note should be integral to an image. It can help explain it but if the art doesn't stand alone without an explanation, well then, feh, I say. So it was strange to see such a text-heavy project.
First off, yeah, I hate the font you used; I hate almost all fonts that simulate handwriting, since a person's writing is a tiny piece of them and carries as much aesthetic weight as any other extension of them: their clothes or home. So seeing all that fake script was just a horror to me, although as usual the content of the notes was interesting, thought-provoking.
To get to the central point, the images mostly stood alone for me without the notes. I found one diptych problematic (the Ritz one); it just didn't hold together as well as the others, which had a spooky quality, and carried a sense of your alienation.
I like also that you have turned away from the usual TE home-run shots and tried something different. I admire the courage it takes.
Well, you're number two on my project commenting experiment.
Well, first...simply enough...too many words. What is the point, your thoughts or the photos? I tended to be way too wordy in previous times(TE)...clouding any depth in my photos with general perceptions and random ideas. I want to feel the world shown in your photographs by incorporating myself into that world...as best as possible. I don't really want to be influenced by long winded explanations of the quizzical side of life. Experimental yes, redundant no...that's what I want. Your first photo was amazing and your last was pretty strong, but your middle shots (so far) were lost, and in my opinion, not helpful to the overall statement that you were trying to make. Maybe they were too small, helpless against those white borders and cursive lines.
Imagining this in book form I see crowded pages weighing on the mind of the viewer. Simplicity is key here...Show, don't tell and let the photos create a story in the mind of the viewer. You have a wonderful surreal set of shots here...what does it mean? Maybe nothing, but don't try to place a story upon any set of photos that were taken in one particular city, or any particular time unless there is a story there, I.E. "Country Doctor". Is the only common point the time or place?
I guess what I'm really saying, is that I wanted to see more photo and a little less wordplay.
again thanks for the invitayion to join here ;) and for the introduction as a strange haired lunatic :) it would be awkward to find a serious post in that forum hahaha
as for the series uuh project ( have to get used to that word still) I really like the presenation and Houellebecq... damn man i am jealous already. Didn't read his first novel, but "les particules elemtaires" and "platfrom" damn that are some books huh..."life is only possible throught glances of another" and this project is alive...
so consultants don't all read Agatha Christie and Nikki French to escape from reality :) some read self questioning books about art administrators, moleculair scientist and consulants who want to escape and are questioning the life they lead...
questioning is good :) and the anwers is in here my friend... and remember, " a man who sees both sides of the question, sees nothing at all"