Saturday, August 29, 2009
Saints and Sinners
My posts have been less frequent than ever this month, so I thought I'd do penance with a triptych called "saints and sinners." The width of the photo is such that I can't post it larger than this, but what you see is a scene from a Salt Lake City street. Let me break it down...
The "Temple City" motel sign caught my eye. The photo at right captures a sort of nostalgia for a very different Salt Lake City than the one that has clubs like the aptly named "Saints and Sinners" one right next door to the motel.
The photo at left better illustrates decay—both in the sign itself (because the close up shows the worn paint much better) and, more obviously, in the juxtaposition of the religious theme and the billboard for a peep show behind the sign.
The bouncers at the "Saint and Sinners" club (incidentally the "A private club for members" subtitle is rife with irony for those who know Utah Mormon culture) were wary of my photo taking. When that happens, I tend to go straight to the person rather than retreat. So I walked up to the bouncers and told them that I thought the best-named club in Utah. They laughed and that was that. My great regret was not getting the picture with the bouncers in front.
My triptych is not only my ironic penance for a lack of posts recently, it also represents one of the reasons: namely, that I am working on a project about Utah culture that I hope to complete within a year. The other main reason for my lack of posts is that my family and I are getting ready to spend three months in Paris. We leave next week and we still have loads to do before then. I will be teaching a photography class to study abroad students in Paris so I'm sure there will be fun things to share.
A lesson to be learned?
I have a strong attachment to Paris and have had practically no attachment whatsoever to Utah until recently. Working on a Utah-based photo project has helped me appreciate the state on its own terms. This is one of my favorite things about photography. Whenever I have a project, I am forced to pay attention to my surroundings and I come to appreciate them more.
My "Monthly Special" format makes me focus my attention on different things each month. Even when I'm less productive with posts, my in-between moments (like driving to work) are often occupied with thoughts of the month's theme.
And speaking of "Monthly Special" themes....this post is also a hint about next month's project. No, it's not religion (although that would be a good theme). Comments? A guess?