Maciek Jasik – Aneta at Dusk (2014)
This is clearly an image where one of those spark shower shooting fireworks has been placed just out of from on the river bank, ignited and then with the camera set to burst, the fuse is lit.
You’d think my first thought would be that this is not unlike the more lo-fi work Ryan McGinley has been doing with fireworks for decades (at least I believe it’s now decades at this point).
Truthfully, if you deleted McGinley’s work with fireworks from his larger output as an artist, I would likely reclassify his work as a personal favorite.
But what Jasik has done is taken an idea so haphazard and slapdash in it’s application that it’s difficult to see how anyone saw merit there and turned it into something so thoroughly ephemeral, I only know how to speak of it in terms of haunting-ness.
It’s not just that he leaves a half-baked notion in the oven long enough for it to be done, it’s that he adds something evocative to the proceedings–presumably through careful editing.
This image–in particular–reminds me of that Björk* quote:
There are certain emotions in your body that not even your best friend can sympathize with, but you will find the right film or the right book, and it will understand you.
I’d say add a photograph to that list because this conveys a wistful yet grounded feel that I frequently wish I had a word to call it by its name.
A part of that association is that although I look at it and know the sparks are a result of some sort of fire work, it reminds me of the effect from the original Star Trek they uses for teleportation. It was basically a two part effect. The camera was anchored on a tripod, they lined everyone up in the transporter on their marks and then they walked off while the camera was still running and they faded out the characters while optically printing footage from a slow motion camera that was inverted and then filmed aluminum powder falling against a black background. So the feeling of displacement is not just in my head–it’s a sort of visual rhyme I’m picking up on.
(*Björk‘s latest album Utopia is effing superb, by-the-by… it may not be the sort of thing I usually feast upon but it is one of the best works of Art from 2017.)