Mathilda EberhardUntitled (2014)

Mathilda EberhardUntitled (2014)

Flickr retains little more than a ghost of its late aughts glory.  In fact, it’s pretty much a completely clusterfuck.

There are some notable outliers whose photostreams’ always showcase bona fide next level shit–looking at you: im_photo, chill and 3cm.

I’d include Eberhard to that list except well although I wouldn’t ever suggest that her work is better than those guys, I am just flat out enamored with her work.

This should surprise no one having followed me for any period of time–after all this is the fifth image of hers I’ve posted.

You’ll notice I tend to favor appending quotes to her images instead of commenting on them–partly because I am so awed by them that my fumbled attempts at expression seem entirely cross juxtaposed with the work and partly because I get self-conscious about the fact that I tend to compare things that move me to the very limited set of work I adore (at least initially) instead of come to terms with them on their own ‘ground’.

For example: for as many image makers as will either claim or accept the critical assignment of overlap with Francesca Woodman’s work, Eberhard is probably the image maker who most completely takes up Woodman’s mantle.

But to state that and consider the matter settle is intellectually dishonest. There’s more to it than that it and leaving it there does a disservice to both image makers.

Unfortunately, it’s not something I can express in the positive–i.e. I can say this is what makes Eberhard’s vision singular. However, it did occur to me that there’s a way I can, for the time being, point in the right direction.

Think of the word ‘desire’. We use it primarily as a noun–to describe a visceral wanting. It’s also a verb. I can say to a friend: I desire a delectable brie.–Although grammatically correct it sounds to the ear unbalanced.

In actuality when we desire, there is a tendency to express desire with metaphor–’craving’, ‘hunger’ or ‘thirst’.

Now, consider the qualifications we add to these metaphors when we use them non-metaphorically. We might say her appetite was ‘insatiable’ but we would be much less likely to say his hunger was insatiable unless we are using ‘hunger’ in some metaphorical sense. One eat until one’s hunger is sated.

I’m not sure if it’s just my pushing the point to reach a satisfactory conclusion, but it seems that we speak of thirst differently. Thirst isn’t sated, it is ‘slaked’–implying satisfaction. The space between ‘hunger’ and ‘being sated’–when measured in time–is less ephemeral than the space between ‘thirst’ and ‘slaked’.

I think when you extend this realization of the tendency in the literal to the metaphorical–desire when expressed via a thirst metaphor is more insistent than desire as expressed via a hunger metaphor.

What makes Eberhard’s work so singularly compelling is the way it methodically charts the terrain of thirst as a metaphor for desire.

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