Today as I sat outside talking with one of my friends, I expressed to her (in my daunting ability to spurt out how I feel) why I do not like photography. Her being a photographer, took this rather charmingly. I tried to explain that it didn’t draw me in, it doesn’t make me feel. The thought of capturing a moment, with all of its emotion and spatio-temporal effects, in a single frame is almost a mockery. If one thinks back to a memory they have, about an event that took place in their lives, they can recall the depth of the room, the humidity in the air, the scent, the sound, the taste, the emotion, how the carpet felt between their toes, and what they were thinking at the exact moment another person across from them said a certain syllable. Memory transports someone back to a time that once was, in this hazy cloud of contemplation and reflection. I am almost able to stop time that once was and re-examine a single moment until I understand the perspectives of everyone involved at that time. However, it isn’t time. It isn’t anything really, it is a just a replica I make and it is distorted by my current ability to reason, and understand something that once was. “Certainly photography and film do this greater justice, for it is capturing an event, not replicating it!” I would disagree, for these ‘arts’ only become impartial spectators to an event, never understanding for themselves the depth of a moment. This leaves me saddened, for as much as I watch a film or stare into a photograph I can never understand what it was thinking and neither can it to me. The emotion is lost in a photograph and film almost bastardizes the moment with more intensity by boxing in the spectator of the movie with music and motion. I was not able to explain to my friend why it was I felt such a discomfort in viewing photography. I encouraged her to make an attempt at capturing reality more in the photograph, in using the effects at hand to somehow replicate a moment in all its vibrancy. She joked, “You mean like a film?” After that we parted ways and as I walked back to my room I laughed. I laughed because what she had said resonated with me a general belief about film that our society holds. That it somehow, through having motion and sound, is capable of capturing life in a more full sense then photography. It isn’t just photography I feel is missing the essence it tries to capture, film does the same thing for me. I certainly can appreciate the hard work of a writer, a musician, a photographer, or a filmmaker and can truly respect the desire to express emotion through these venues. But it just does not do reality justice! That is what I now realize. Life is so unique, so vivid and all-encompassing that no matter how hard we attempt to duplicate a moment, we will always fall short. Life is beautiful in and of itself. Every moment is entangled with such depth of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, emotion, thought and perspective that to attempt to capture it is silly. Even our own memory is so hazy and deceptive that we can never truly repeat a moment in its fullness. That, to me makes life so unique. The past is fulfilled in the fullest way it ever can be; no need to attempt to reconstruct it, perhaps beyond educational purposes and self-reflection. The future is unwritten and wonderfully ahead of all living things; no sense in worrying about what may be. The present is pure and current; the greatest moment in someone’s life is right now! Present is truly a gift and as I conclude this little thought I encourage my reader to understand how precious and amazing being alive is. Reality is. There is nothing that can replace or replicate it in this dimension or within our power. Although art has certainly made us appreciate the beauty of our lives and understand the human struggle, it can never truly replace the beauty of our lives or the human struggle. We live and that is simply amazing to be a part of! Love this moment and may The Lord bless you with many more.
Of course art attempts to illicit emotion, but I wouldn’t say art can duplicate reality. I would probably side with Stephanie on the idea that art creates reality, an alternate dimension of reality that can sometimes captivate us and bring us to emotion that we may not have by means of nature. Certainly a movie, photo, or song can be a great flavor to add to the current reality we have. I am not trying to diminish art, more so I am trying to emphasize the importance of not escaping through art. Film and photography could be seen as “opium of the masses,” numbing people into a false reality, that can never be as good as what is around us. A dream is not real, we fly around in dreams and escape the laws of reality, but we certainly have memory from dreams. There is a deeper reflection that may come from what is current and real then ever can come from art, dreams, or memory. I like surrealism art such as Salvador Dali, and appreciate science fiction film and writing because it attempts to create something that isn’t real. Still, art does not create reality, and therefore is below reality.