Sunday, September 28, 2008

1 special picture

While there is no single photograph that I will place above all others, this one brings together multiple meaningful facets. This photograph is of my great, great, great grandfather and his band of fiddlers who toured the south to play for civil war veterans (I am still trying to figure out which one he is).
The photograph provides some form of reality and substance to an otherwise distant and notional family history. It exemplifies, and brings to a personal level, the archival and documentation powers of photography. The picture turns my effectively imaginary family history to a reality. Somehow I can feel more connected to my distant past, seeing some actual faces.
This photo has additional meaning because it is an example of my family’s apparent trans-generational dedication to social improvement and helping others. I hope to carry such themes with me throughout the course of my life and it is a good feeling to know, and be able to see proof, that my family held similar values long ago.
Furthermore, I enjoy old photographs that have an air of history and mystique to them.
While this particular photograph is not particularly stunning in form or artfulness, all the characters have such charisma and the photo represents a certain aesthetic. The grittiness and history not only add to the meaning of this photo but they also add to my appreciation of the art and practice of photography itself.


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