Youth is but a stolen season traversed by ephemeral beings. A corrugated façade, a temporary building beheld only by rows of parked cars, bears witness to their flight. On that mute wall, tattered portraits depict the remnants of smiling faces, a once-proud pursuit, imbued as it was with confidence and hope. Yet time has undone that ‘global project’. Even without the bitter east wind or the driving rain, the shreds of the past scream of extremes, of joy and doubt, of frustration and dreams, of love and despair,… You adults who scurry, head down, to the nearby hypermarket, shopping list in hand, do you heed the cries of those transient young that you once were?
Gallery: Youth is but a stolen season
Click on any of the above photos to browse the gallery.
Sculptures by Huguette McCluskey-Cavin and photos and novels by Alan McCluskey at the Atelier du Ruau, Saint-Blaise, CH. Opening: Friday, December 7th from 4 to 7 pm.
Above is the official poster for our forthcoming exhibition. Sculptures by Huguette McCluskey-Cavin and photos by Alan McCluskey. At the Atelier du Ruau, ruelle des Voûtes, Saint-Blaise. December 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22 from 4pm to 7pm. Opening Friday, December 7th from 4 to 7 pm.
Ironically the sculpture I chose for the poster has already been sold and I decided to exhibit quite a different set of photos from this photo from my ‘water’ collection. You will be able to peruse and acquire those earlier photos although they will not be on the walls of the Atelier du Ruau.
Island is an art-video made by Alan McCluskey on location in the White house in Veyrier, Switzerland in 1983. Taking part in the video, amongst others, are Betsy, Chatouille, Chen, Christophe, Christiane, Crepo, Derek, Diego, Dorothee, Dutch, Huguette, Ingrid, Joanna, Kira, Jean-François, Kerena, Louise, Maia, Marie-Dan, Mathieu, Shan, Solar Stan and Tox.
It’s 1982 and the Falkland War has broken out. Beirut cowers under a deluge of bombs and Palestinians are being slaughtered while in Cannes the great names of modern cinema present their latest films. Further north, by Lake Geneva, promising fine-arts students listen to filmmakers Johan van des Keuken and Steve Dwoskin, while elsewhere in the city a group of talented young actresses and actors put on a play. Such is the material of my video-art collage, La Terre Promise (The Promised Land). Click to see stills from the recent digital transfer of the video.
Did it ever strike you how untruthful photos can be. They draw you into a frame and hold your attention captive. They lead you to forget what is beyond the frame both in terms of time and space. In the above photo, you see nothing of the parked cars or the haphazard roofs not to mention the slush on the roads or the dreary people trudging about their day. You don’t know that the wild flurry of snow didn’t last more than five minutes. And why should you? That would spoil the photo.
Photos can ‘lie’ in other ways, by the angle they take on the world. The example I want to use comes from a video, but the dynamic is the same. Imagine the moment. A group of postgrad sociology students are seated around a table watching a video, an extract from a French TV documentary comparing the editorial meetings of two French dailies, the right-wing Le Figaro and the communist L’Humanité,. Le Figaro is filmed such as to always include several people with the camera at chest height. Shots are chosen in which participants are smiling or expressing their opinion. In comparison, L’Humanité is filmed from much lower down, framing only one person at a time. Images of participants are chosen in which they look on silent and unsmiling. The postgrads were quick to point out the convivial nature of the Figaro meeting compared to the domineering attitude of the chief editor of Humanité. They quickly moved on to speculate about what that implied. They were quite oblivious to the fact that the impression they took as fact might well have been created by the way the camera was oriented and by the choice of images when editing.
So while we relish in photos that move or inspire or anger us, we need to remember that they invariably only tell a partial, if not slanted tale of reality.