MyPhotoAndWorldsCoolestDoor, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.
I’m back from Salado! Did you miss me?
On Friday, I went up to Salado, Texas for the curating, hanging, and opening of my show at the winery there. The show is called “Stomp That Grape!” and it documents the making of wine in Texas. It runs through July and features 27 images.
I was there early and I helped arrange the work. The first thing I do when I arrange work is look at the empty space and try to visual the work installed-try to start to formulate where things will go and which pieces go with which other pieces. It’s not really an exact science, but it’s one that a lot of photographers do from time to time. Anyway, as I was walking the space, the big empty space, all of those white walls staring back at me, I noticed they had this door near the back of the exhibition space. It wasn’t just any door, no, I kept looking at it. Basically, I could not take my eyes off of it.
Of course, most people probably don’t look at doors all that carefully. I mean, a door is just a door, right? But not this door. No, this door was perhaps the world’s coolest door in oh so many ways. For starters, it was a white door in a white room-excuse my French, but that’s a photographer’s “wet dream” right there. No need to go any further. But, this door did. It had peeling paint and a lace curtain panel. Oh, more “wet dreams” in oh so many ways. Then, it had one of those old door knobs, you know, the very black heavy ones? Yeah, like wow! It was a door to end all doors. Seriously. Yes, I know it’s a door, and, yes, I know I’m perhaps a bit, shall we say “lulu” in the head, but, honestly, I thought it was the world’s coolest door. Evah! I so wanted to just shoot the door and forget about hanging up the photos. And, hate to say it, but I wasn’t the only one. No, almost every other photographer was clamoring to get into the back room-to be next to that door-you know the door, *that* door. Oh, it was almost a hair-pulling fist fight of epic proportions. It was just the coolest door and everybody just wanted to be near it. It was like the “Brad Pitt” of doors or something.
As the show started, the people started to come, started to drink wine and nibble on the finger food and all. There were even some other photographers there-a few folks showed up with cameras. And what did they shoot, you might ask? Nope, not our photos. Not the room, not our photos, not the other people at the show. Nope, nope, and no. You guess it. They shot the door. They all shot the door. Everybody wanted to get a picture of that door.
So, before I left for the night, while the sun was still soft in the sky, the shadows flickering through the screen door behind me, what did I do too? Yup, you guessed it. I shot the door. (Behold! Here is a photo of my framed photographic print hanging next to, right next to, what just might be the world’s coolest door.)
It’s the coolest door in the world, I tell you. The absolute coolest.
Oh, and, you know, in case you were wondering, the show was kind of nice too.
Until next time…
I do think it is an interesting photo, but even more interesting is why people wanted to take pictures of it. People like to take pictures of doors. So, why? Thousands of reasons, I suppose. It is some historical object and has that fascination of the manner in which it was built, its place as a piece of history. It's structure, its embellishments, ornateness, or lack thereof. Its layers of peeling paint that speak of time. Maybe it is about the idea of a door itself. It separates space just as the canopy bed did. Privacy. Secrets. Maybe it's the metaphorical aspects that are intriguing. The idea that there is something on the other side. It could be one's own repressed thoughts or feelings that need unlocking. It could be some sense of passage, enlightenment, or some transcendence to something bigger we want to know about. Is it an 'Entrance door'? Or an 'Exit' door? The coolest doors have been the ones I have opened. The ones that give me bad dreams are the ones I haven't opened yet.
This is why I love to blog and I love your comments in particular. I mean, I post something about a door, which I fully anticipate that nobody will ever understand-I half expect raging emails of "have your lost your mind? You're now going on about doors? Aren't you supposed to be a professional photographer and all?" and, instead, I come here and get this comment instead.
You totally get it. The question of what's on the other side, the symbol of "walking into or away from," the peeling paint, the old/new aspects of it, the architecture, it all makes for a strange fascination but that, at the end of the day, is what makes for good photography.
Strange fascinations lead to idle curiosity which leads to pondering which leads to exploration which leads to, you know, all entangled at the end, sometimes some pretty good artwork.
At the very least, it asks some interesting questions and, isn't that one of the things we think art is supposed to do?
Thanks for your thoughtful comment!