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Exhibition 2018: a little gallery through a glass, darkly

Are not all photographs self portraits, in fact? Seeing both, sees much more…

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Ceci est une vraie photo

My little exhibition of photographs opens in Cividale on 9th June (at weekends for a month) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike the warnings which annotate everyday life (“may contain nuts”, “do not attempt at home”…) this is a promise: No reality was hurt in the making of this photograph. No CGI (computer-generated imagery), no Photoshop.     

(No lung damage will result from smoking: Ceci n’est pas une pipe.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I can find a moment I will put up gallery or two of these new images during June

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Is not every photograph a self portrait?

My little exhibition of photographs opens in Cividale on 9th June (at weekends for a month) 

Unlike the warnings which annotate everyday life (“may contain nuts”, “do not attempt at home”…) this is a promise: No reality was hurt in the making of this photograph. No CGI (computer-generated imagery), no Photoshop.     

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Both/and is the real world we neglect for either/or

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The Impossibility of Truly Seeing….

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But what IS in front of the eyes?

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Pirouetting with Piero della Francesca : The Piero Gaze

My general talk on Piero della Francesca finally went off this week, and the compliments were encouraging.  Encouraging to have another go. And maybe, actually spend a complete, unrushed, fifty minutes pondering the Piero gaze – simply through these three extraordinary fragments:

The youths seeing each other directly, recognising their desire as if for the first time and its fragility – they are, after all in the presence of the first death; Adam’s dead body lies on the ground by them. Hands are held gently as a huge potential opens up. The pregnant moment.

The pregnant teenager, her gaze inwards, seeing herself and her offspring as if for the first time, as he moves under her hand. Her fate overcomes any terror – she is, after all, a virgin; she is not resigned but rather recognising the huge potential which awaits.

The bleary-eyed figure, on the cold Easter dawn, gazing directly out, at me but through me and at everything. His appearing, his appearance is as astonished as it is astonishing. It is the moment of recognition, when the sting of that first death is totally transformed by belief. In this gaze too, the world will not be the same again.

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The world of Piero della Francesca : a couple of thoughts

This post – just as we are leaving Italy for a winter in England – simply locates two or three things which, during the recent Cognoscenti tour to the world of Piero della Francesca, I promised to make available to those on that tour.

The first is the David A King’s fascinating and completely original take on The Flagellation. I mentioned his ideas only very briefly as we stood in front of this amazing painting a few weeks ago.  Click here and you will be introduced to his thesis about Bessarion (to whom I did introduce the group) and his astrolabe, linked mysteriously with the Piero painting. The best introduction is the slideshow of his lecture in Urbino, well worth a glance (click on his “silent lecture” click here, once you are on his page to download it as a pdf).

The second is a short essay I wrote 25 years ago about Urbino. It’s a very brief introduction, but while on the tour, one of the travellers who had read it (as we had circulated it to the Renaissance City tour in 2915), suggested more of you might be interested, now you have had a taster of that remarkable city.  Here it is: my-kind-of-town_jmck.

Crowds at The Resurrection, at The Annunciation, and filling the piazza in Arezzo

Crowds at The Resurrection, at The Annunciation, and filling the piazza in Arezzo

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Cognoscenti 121 : Piero della Francesca – The Flagellation

Just back from the Piero tour – shocked as ever at just how small and yet utterly vast is this picture; and how impossible it is to see all or even most of what it contains, even with ten or more quiet minutes and no interruptions from tour groups. With bright spotlights reflecting off its protective glass, it is also almost impossible to photograph; but at least one get up really close, which reveals so much.

My details of the urban perspective (a and b) are much closer to the actual sense and colour than the published ones (c and d).

27 September 2017

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Sketches of Places & People by John McKean: exhibition opens today

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