Saturday, December 16, 2006

What is it About Withered, Old Windows...?

What is it about withered, old windows? I have found them mysteriously alluring for as long as I can remember. Quietly they sit, like sentinels - both of this world, and yet, somehow, not - watching the inexorable rhythms of time gently lap the timeless shores of distant memories.

I imagine, in my mind's eye, strange Borgesian universes lurking within the shadows, and magical worlds inhabiting the space beyond. Are the individual panes of glass mere placeholders, I wonder - random filters that diffuse and distort what is really there - or are they portals to other realities and realms of being?

What magical stories of life and truth these windows could share, if only there were ears to hear - and souls to understand - their long-forgotten language. Still, when all is quiet, and the light yields to darkness, faint whispers of a living past can sometimes be heard...with a camera.


Anonymous said...

Your window photos are delightful and I share your sense that they are very rich and evocative. But I don't quite understand your statement that they are "of this world, and yet, somehow, not." I think that your photos show that they are of two worlds -- outside and inside, at least originally -- and their relationship. Sometimes the information about one side is pretty sparse, for example the insides of first and last (near and far sides, if I've interpreted correctly). That causes us to call on our imagination, which I suppose you could consider not of this world...unless it's a third and different world that is very much a real one. But semantics and philosophy aside, I'm curious why you didn't occasionally include more of the wall, without which there could be no window. I can think of a number of reasons, I'm just wondering what it was for you.

Andy Ilachinski said...


Thanks for your comments, and for stopping by for a peek. My "windows" entry was a bit - ah, whimsical & philosophical - and was mostly written stream-of-consciousness as I was deciding which images to post. My comment "of this world, and yet, somehow, not" still stands. however, even after further reflection: my meaning (here) is simply that they, by themselves, *boundaries between worlds* but not "worlds" alone. In a sense, all four images are meditations on the nature of category, partition and the degree to which "objects" (even whole worlds) depend at much on what is "outside of them" for their own definition, as what they themselves are (inside).

As Lao Tzu reminds us..."The thirty spokes unite in the one center; but it is on the empty space for the axle that the use of the wheel depends." My short window series likewise (is intented to suggest) that though they unite worlds (inside and outside), the worlds - as separate realms - attain such meaning only though the otherwise "empty" presence of the windows between them.

As for the "walls"...I do indeed often include them as well (and perhaps should post a few...some may be in my other on-line galleries); they are missing here only to emphasize the "window" in as shallow a context as possible.

Anonymous said...

Andy: lovely images, even if your explanation suggests you are a better photographer than philosopher. Well done. There's a show here.

Anonymous said...

A palpable touch by George!

I notice that, in all but the last window, the boundary has been breached, the partition pierced, the separation literally shattered (sorry, couldn't resist). It's a full invasion in the first, which is my favorite.

I'll wander your galleries again, I always enjoy them.

Anonymous said...

(Back from wandering) Indeed you have plenty of nice windows in a similar vein to those in this post. Not many with much wall, not that it's a problem. Though I think a bit more variety of composition would keep the typical viewer's interest longer at a show. You could certainly expand the theme to include doors.