I featured another of Zazirskas’ images in a post from almost exactly a year ago. (Incidentally: it’s probably the most popular OP in the history of this project.)
I’m still not over 100% on board with his work but I ran across this earlier in the week and I had a very strong reaction to it.
I’ll try to explain but in order to do that I do have to dissimulate–at least initially.
Nothing about this pose makes sense. You’re standing outside wearing a light dress. You bear your left breast while leaving the right covered touch your index and middle fingers to your collar bone while throwing your head back with the back of your palm seeming pressed against your forehead. Why?
The only thing that makes sense is that she’s trying to remain anonymous. As as much as I personally loathe images that decapitate the subject in order to preserve privacy–there is a fundamental contradiction between her pose and the mise en scene, i.e. she’s presented as being unaware of being observed but is also trying not to be seen while self-consciously revealing her breast; all with the background so carefully presented as to vertically bifurcate the frame.
That was my first reaction anyway. Running into it a year later, I’m almost willing to wager that this image is an extrapolation upon Fan Ho’s magnificent Approaching Shadow.
As far as an homage, it’s uneven. But if Zazirskas is actually spending time with Ho’s work then that would explain both my ambivalence about aspects of his work and the fact that I’m not exactly ready to dismiss it either.
Ho is a hell of a lot more formal and technically astute–however, I can’t suggest that it’s the wrong photographer given Zazirskas’ over style. The choice actually strikes me as thoroughly prescient.