Ayaka YamamotoEvita Goze from Portraits of Girls in Latvia and Estonia series (2013)

Earlier this week I reblogged a quote from Reverend Bobby Anger:

There is more than finding the right light to shoot it. You must find
the people with the right light in them.

I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment. In fact, although I realize it’s meant as  a poetic metaphor–likely riffing off the line that may or may not really be Hemingway and is at least half Leonard Cohen:

We are all broken—that’s how the light gets in.

But as someone who on occasion experiences people with a glow about them–and I say experience because it’s typically something you feel for a time before you actually see anything and the seeing is rarely more than like the last question on those how many colors can you distinguish tests where you can’t actually see the difference so much as one of the samples feels slightly different.

Photographer and Model Evita Goze is an example of someone who possesses a similar quality. Only to call it light perhaps mischaracterizes it–it’s the thread stitching both her personal photographic work and her modeling together, a stillness both resigned and expectant.

I’m not sure how else to explain it other than to refer to Plotinus. Now forgive me if I don’t get this 100% correct–it’s been more than a decade since I studied this–but as I remember Plotinus’ trip was he had this absolutely earth-shattering transcendent experience. Post-experience, he was distraught and depressed… I mean after mystical union with The One, day-to-day exigencies here in the desert of the real positively pale in comparison.

It wasn’t a singular experience. He reconnected with it several more times and his notion with regard to the meaning of life took shape accordingly. He maintained that the purpose of human life is to wait expectantly for those moments of self-transcendence so that we are prepared to receive them when they present themselves.

There is absolutely something of that waiting in-between-ness to Goze’s interactions with the world of concrete visual representation. She is definitely near the top of a very short list of people I would do just about anything to work with.

Alena ZhandarovaEvita Goze (2011)

I’m reblogging this from mpdrolet–who if you follow me, you seriously ought to follow; he curates what hands down the best Tumblr blog. (Not to mention: and he’s forgotten more about fine art photography than I’ll ever know.)

It’s odd though because while he’s usually fastidious with sourcing; when he posted this image, he attributed it solely to Goze, linking to modeling work Goze did for Aiga Ozolina.

It’s absolutely worth the time to click through and check out all parties involved. (Especially consider the impact the collaboration with Goze has on the respective image makers codified styles.)

I’m not interested in comment on that, however–mostly because there is something about this image with which I am utterly enamored.

It reminds me of Martin Buber’s I and Thou wherein it’s postulated that their are two modes of relationships in the world–the relationship between a subject and objects (termed I-It) and the experience of transcendent, non-duality (termed I-Thou).

I-It, for example, involves a subject perceiving an object–Molly looking at a painting in a gallery, Dev reading the subway map, etc. I-Thou, on the other hand, like a gust of wind, wrenching open your window and a macaw flying into the room; you are so startled by the sudden and unexpected presence that for a moment you forget to resort to language in the instinctive drive to sort and identify situations; you experience an unmediated fullness of awe in the moment. (This is an example–you can certainly experience I-Thou moments looking at a painting in a gallery. Hell, I wouldn’t be alive if not for that possibility.)

Buber maintains that the spark of the I-Thou moment lies encased–not unlike an insect in amber–within the I-It moment that litter our lives.

* * *

As an off-the-charts introvert, I need a metric fuck ton of solitude in order to even halfway function as a human being. Yet, I do need a modicum of social stimulation–just not in a small talk/how about this weather/interacting with strangers at a loud bar; I need to feel connected to others.

One of my pressing struggles in my life is balancing the need for some sort of connectedness with the fact that I really only have recourse to more casual and frivolous interactions.

Imagine that we are standing on a cliff overlooking the ocean. I am standing facing you and your back is to the sun dipping towards the horizon’s shelf. Something in the color or the vista speaks to me, I enter into an I-Thou moment. All I can do–without slipping out of the moment–is instinctively point. Either you’ll see it and share the moment or you wont. Even if I could explain, the explanation would be a little like explaining a joke–that which was humorous is rendered sterile via translation.

* * *

I want to share the I-Thou spark that flickers just below the surface of this image. Don’t you see it? It’s staggering…

if you don’t the only thing I can suggest is to remind you of the scene in Klimov’s masterpiece Иди и смотри (probably one of my three favorite films of all time) where Florya shakes water from the trees and dances with Glasha in the rain?

Don’t you see it? Look. It’s right there…