Moriyama: 1971, 1986, and 2012

Stray Dog by Daido Moriyama, Misawa, Aomori, 1971
. Stray Dog by Daido Moriyama, Misawa, Aomori, 1971

Lately has a period of chasing. Yet, i feel as if i’m moving through sludge trying to have multiple strands in past, present, and future all in order. Shopping, online, for a formal dress that can also be informal, and sits just so within my narrow taste and even tighter budget takes up an extraordinary amount of days. Sift, sort, expect, wonder, fret, hope: it’s provided a convenient distraction.

And i’ve been having dreams so strong and vivid i fight the light to try to continue the night stories just a little longer.

Now, in the light of day, i chance upon Moriyama’s interview with the guardian. For some strange reason borne of context, i feel singularly taken with these pictures. There’s a life burning, even as its heat suggests mortality. There’s terrain both familiar and unexpected, and you either go over them, over and over in an obsessed loop, or surface, rather unsettled.

Some say his photos challenge traditional values. But i struggle and find no dichotomy in them, and none implied. Maybe traditional is not quite a static value to pit against.  As he says, “photography is the act of “fixing” time, not of “expressing” the world. The camera is an inadequate tool for extracting a vision of the world or of beauty.


Tights, 1986.

Tights, Daido Moriyama

Tights, Daido Moriyama


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