13 February 2008

William Schmidt on Kerouac's road: People in places

In 1975, after graduating from college, I set out to discover Kerouac's road. With only my camera as a companion, I travelled through America for three months. I hitchhiked and took Greyhound buses, camped, stayed in hostels and missions and with whomever invited me. It was a great adventure.

William Schimdt's self portrait in the bus.

When I ran out of money, I returned home and had to get a job. I continued to photograph for a while, but eventually put my camera away. The photographs and negatives were put into a box and stored at my mother's house. When she moved twenty-five years later, she threw the box away. All that remains are some fading proof sheets which I have scanned. Everything else is gone but the memories.

The photos fascinate me for a number of reasons. They seem ironic now, both intimate and distant. Though the quality of the images is marred, their subjects and subjectivity present what Maria Kroenenberg calls "a vision felt", an "illustration of mood." Life's great paradox is that one both becomes in and is destroyed by time. In time's twisted logic, gaining is losing. We are, by and large, who we remember ourselves to be, but memory is infamously unreliable.

My memory of what occurred when I made these pictures has been shaped by the events that have followed. I may only recall, not retreat into this past. Like these photographs, the memories of that time are veiled, mysterious, and, perhaps, even beginning to attain the semblance of myth. "I was there," I tell myself. There is evidence. The photos represent a time of innocence and exist now only in cyberspace, a series of zeros and ones, intangible but sensible, an X-Ray of a spirit.

Bachelard says that we remember people in places. When we see faces we can't recall, we say that we can't place them. Here are some portraits I made on that trip. People in places.

F blog was honoured by William and offered possibility of showing his unique, personal, historical already pictures. Thank you William, this is very special for us.
We will show William Schmidt's works in several posts.
Stay tune/Marcin

More of William's works you may find on his blog.

kiosk in front of church

Photographer: Christo Stankulov

Mother and grandmother in the kitchen

Photographer: Christo Stankulov


Photographer: Emese Altnöder

Kitchen - a mini project

Photographer: Malin Michelsen

Unidentified shelf of kitchen utensils and jars of spices
CREATED/PUBLISHED [between 1941 and 1945]
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division,
FSA-OWI Collection, [reproduction number, LC-USW361-953]

Photographer: Markus Jenemark

This mini project is dedicated to la cocina, köket, the kitchen. A kitchen is according to wiki: "a room or part of a room used for food preparation including cooking, and sometimes also for eating and entertaining guests, if the kitchen is large enough and designed to be used that way."

We want your interpretation of every aspect of this subject: details, people having breakfast or cooking dinner, mobile kitchens, restaurant kitchens, Japanese kitchens, Chiapas kitchens, Polish kitchens...you name it! As usual, we rely on your imagination dear reader of the F blog. Please send your contributions to the gruppo F inbox address.

Three projects will be featured all of 2008: Face to face, Trees and DOCU-08. We hope to be able to make an online exhibition (or even a real life exhibition) with photos from these projects in the beginning of 2009.

So, stay tuned to F - the Photogenic channel.

late night music

Photographer: Walter Neiger