PHOTOGRAPHY | Fear in a handful of dust

Wednesday 2 March 2011

The title of this post is a quote from a T.S. Eliot poem, The Burial of the Dead, from The Wasteland (1922). Poetry isn't everyone's thing, and a lot of it can be pretty cliche and lame. However... Not all of it is. T.S. Eliot is included in this category. 'The Wasteland' is a collection of poems, and most are long. So, I'm going to post just a section. Go and read The Wasteland. It's good.

And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Frischt weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu.
Mein Irisch Kind,
Wo weilest du?
'You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
'They called me hyacinth girl.'
- Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Od' und leer das Meer.

I found the work of photographer Alexey Titarenko a while back, and it's been languishing in my favourites ever since. I thought these images from the 'City of Shadows' series shot over two years in the 1990's fit perfectly with the poem.

I've experimented a little with long exposure, but haven't come up with anything that I've been truly happy with. The closest I've come was in Paris over New Year, a pot-luck shot. Other shots from the trip will probably appear in a post sometime soon...

See the rest of Titarenko's images on his website.

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