Saturday, June 20, 2009


I've been meaning for quite a while to link to this photo blog (image from site). Usually I like to see people in my pictures: there's nothing quite so boring as a whole roll of ocean and sky, as I discovered at the age of twelve when I ignored all of my Maine summer camp compatriots to shoot dozens of shots of blue against slightly bluer blue. The stuff looked like wallpaper. Blue wallpaper.

People, on the other hand, are riveting. You can speculate on whether a man secretly hates the woman he has his arm around, or if she practices smiling when she's alone with the bathroom mirror, or what the hell he was thinking when he grew that handlebar moustache. You can make snarky comments, hypothesize on what's behind those handy masks of skin.

It took me a while to figure it out, but Heidelberger's photographs of hidden and deserted stretches of Indianapolis have people in them, too. They're not visible people; you can't remark on their make-up or their skin tone or their silly shoes. Instead, the photographs -of abandoned buildings, forgotten trainyards, boarded up homes- show the ghostly shapes of people who have stepped from the frame.

I love looking at these forsaken worlds. They're reverse fossils: not the trilobite but the way the trilobite impressed itself, century after century, into the rock. They're intricate and bare, crowded and lonely, terrible and lovely all at once. And I feel privileged to glimpse them.

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