Urban fragment 1
A slight change of pace over the next week. I’ll be in Hong Kong speaking at KM2.0: Knowledge Management in a Wiki World, so posts will be shorter (maybe!). But a while ago, I took up Matt Moore’s offer because I’ve taken up (well, really re-taken up) photography.
When I was young, way back in 1000 BC, I used to take heaps of photos with my dad. My dad was an avid photographer. He was a fighter pilot in WWII for the Royal NZ Air Force and I still have his flying logs that are chock full of black and white shots of pilots in the desert; pilots on R&R; pilots in dog fights and so on. As a teenager, I used to scare the unsuspecting by taking candid shots of them.
So…December last year, for no particular reason, I decided to take up photography again. It was an urge I couldn’t ignore. I bought myself a camera and a fancy lens. Hang the expense I told myself. I post my photos on Flickr but under a different name. Why? Because it’s another “Kim”: a part of my life that I’m keeping a bit secret just now. How typical I hear you say given my fierce protection of privacy!
I am drawn to decaying stuff: peeling posters, abandoned buildings, flowers in their dying moments, the detritus of a city, the negative spaces. Make what you will out of this! But I am coming out of the photography closet (temporarily) and will post 3 photos over the next week for which Matt Moore has penned a poem (thx Matt!). Unlike when I was young(er), I’m now very reluctant to take photos of people – I know I wouldn’t like Google Street View or some photographer snapping me. But occasionally, when I find an intriguing person, I’ll take a shot. Upcoming posts will be 2 photos of people.
I have my own story behind this photo but I will leave the photo and the poem to you to interpret, to ponder over, to react to.
listen carefully through your lens
the city’s concrete parapraxes
its slips of a rusty tongue
its sly evasions when put to the question
you can’t get a straight answer out of the city
you read its map statement again
combing over the misremembered debris
until you find a path through the rubble
a lead in the case
some lead from the windows
are you hungry?
in need of entertainment?
then follow the corroded path
up through the air vents
past the fire escape and insulation
into the tainted daylight
the city won’t budge