I’m beginning to wonder about our penchant for embellishing photos. It is so easy to modified them. The one above looks like somebody spilt a giant pot of rainbow paint on it. The colours are so vivid they make my mouth water. Maybe the question should be: why did I choose to alter it? Well, to be honest, in this case I deliberately exaggerated for the article. But it is tempting to re-touch every photo posted on Instagram or elsewhere on social media, if only a little, for added impact.
A smart reality
Of course, the camera never sees what the eye can and smartphones rework photos in the split second before you see them. The other day, a friend and I were snapping the same scene. His Samsung stoked up the colour saturation while my iPhone looked pale in comparison, even if it was truer to the colours the eye could see. Does that make his smartphone better? I was disappointed with my photo till I realised that the vibrant colours that I momentarily envied were an imposition of the phone-maker. They made the shades of grey and the nuances of pale pastels look unjustly inadequate. Every one of those revved up pics presented an enhanced reality that made the world pale in comparison.
Beyond the postcard effect
Should we be condemning people for wanting a more striking picture to share with friends and acquaintances? Surely not. Pictorial one-upmanship is a part of the social media world where every little like counts. But there is a sort of ‘postcard’ effect. When postcards were launched on the market – and even today – people combed the world in search of potential postcards in nature and tried to snap themselves into such scenes. Now armed with their smart phone people are constantly staging and sharing pretty, tinted shots of the world. Just as postcards permanently coloured our vision, so the ‘Instagram’ photo distorts our world-view. Striking images become common-place, and the mundane sinks into a sea of lassitude. Not everyone can grasp the potential magic of a scene and their failure to capture all but the mundane can be conveniently masked by recourse to effects and colorisation.
Recent rain has had the mushrooms shooting up throughout the forest. At this time of year there are more mushrooms than flowers even though there are a couple of assiduous mushroom collectors who regularly comb the forest floor. Don’t ask me which are edible. I know that at least two below are. But my knowledge is too sketchy to trust. To visit the gallery and to see a larger version of each photo click on any of the photos.
Dialogues, marrying words and images, is the 14th exhibition in the Saint-Gervais Thermal Park in Le Fayet, commissioned by Kaviiik. The artists are Alain Bar, Lenny Boha, Iatmul Cepik, Olga Ciparo, Clarisse Coudere, Guy Ferrer, Gerard Guyomard, Kaviiik, Peter Klasen, Jean Le Gac, Vera Linos, Eric Liot, Germe Marck, Michel Pinier, J-P Plundr, Simon Sonn, Denis Vidalie, Tara Zagour. Photos by Alan McCluskey (2019-07-24). Click on any photo to access the full gallery.
In 2017, Saint-Gervais, at the foot of the Mont Blanc, invited 11 internationally renowned artists to create artwork for an eleven-storey carpark in the centre of town. The collection was commissioned by Hugues Chevallier. The following photo gallery (photos by Alan McCluskey – July 2019) gives a taste of their work. In 2018, the exhibition was extended by Frederick Battle who commissioned works by eight artists for more intimate spaces such as the swimming pool, the wall of the postoffice, the cablecar stations,… The eleven artists who took part in painting the carpark were: Elian Chali, Etienne de Fleurieu, Felipe Pantone, Jaw, Roids, SatOne, Sobekcis, Sten & Lex, Swiz, Zoer, Velvet.
Click on any of the thumbnails to access the full gallery.
2KM3, or 2,000 m3, the volume the artists had to work with.
Flowers draw the eye. They attract, that is what they are made for. With their colours, their wistful forms. their delicate perfumes, they are a real delight. And the month of June is rich in them. These are a few found on my walks through the forest above our village. Click on any of the photos to visit the gallery.
A small group of women from Saint-Blaise got together to mark the 2019 Women’s Strike in the village on June 14th. They decorated the many fountains, a symbolic choice seeing that it was the women who would have used those fountains to fetch water and to wash clothes and vegetables. The fountains were a place where women would talk together, free from men, who would not go there. Click on any of the photos to visit the gallery.
Un petit groupe de femmes de Saint-Blaise se sont réunies lors de la Grève des Femmes 2019 le 14 juin pour décorer les fontaines du village. Elles n’auraient pas pu choisir un lieu plus symbolique. Les femme allaient aux fontaines chercher de l’eau ou laver des vêtements ou des légumes. Les fontaines étaient des lieux ou les femmes pouvaient discuter sans être embêter par les hommes qui n’y allaient pas. Cliquer sur une des photos pour visiter la galerie.
This year the pedestrian zone of Neuchatel is celebrating its forty years. As part of the festivities local artists have elaborated on a concept by Denis Roueche for human-sized clock faces entitled DingDong. Below are some of the clock faces placed at different points of the town. Click on any photo to browse the gallery.