"Hopper Meditations" is a personal photographic response to the work of the American painter, Edward Hopper. I have always loved the way Hopper’s paintings, with an economy of means, are able to address the mysteries and complexities of the human condition. Placing one or two figures in humble, intimate settings, he created quiet scenes that are psychologically compelling with open-ended narratives. The characters’ emotional states can seem to waver paradoxically between reverie and alienation, or perhaps between longing and resignation. Dramatic lighting heightens the emotional overtones, but any final interpretation is left to the viewer. These are all qualities I hope to imbue in my images as well.
You’ve got to learn how to dance and speak lots of languages and pull ideas out of your hat. You’ve got to have a way of conducting yourself that’s nonconformist and nuts. You’ve got to radicalize the programs over the years. You’ve got to want two kids. You’ve got to pass the world through the sieve of a clear vision or, when the chips are down, be an optimist. Got to laugh at yourself as well as the other guy. You’ve got to arrive on time anyoldwhere. You’ve got to concentrate on the aim with a prime-time audience in mind. You’ve got to stay put in spots where the sun blazes and expose yourself to a blast of hot air and a heavy, unbreathable stench of asphalt, sticky pollution and grease, until your skin and bones are steeped in the heat that sears the deserted streets and glues your summer clothes to your body. After months of draining work, you’ve got to take that vacation. Presto.
by Ernest Farrés (translated from the Catalan by Lawrence Venuti)
Esteve no Indie Lisboa '13 e escapou-me. Que me sirva de aviso para este ano. Também há um livro, se alguma alma caridosa mo quiser oferecer.
13 of Edward Hopper's paintings are brought alive by the film, telling the story of a woman, whose thoughts, emotions and contemplations lets us observe an era in American history. Shirley is a woman in America in the 1930s, '40s, '50s, and early '60s.
A woman who would like to influence the course of history with her professional and socio-political involvement. A woman who does not accept the reality of the Depression years, WWII, the McCarthy era, race conflicts and civil rights campaigns as given but rather as generated and adjustable. A woman whose work as an actress has familiarised her with the staging of reality, the questioning and shaping of it; an actress who doesn't identify her purpose and future with that of solo success or stardom but who strives to give social potency to theatre as part of a collective. A woman who cannot identify with the traditional role model of a wife yet longs to have a life partner. A woman who does not compromise in moments of professional crisis and is not afraid to take on menial jobs to secure her livelihood. A woman who in a moment of private crisis decides to stick with her partner and puts her own professional interest on the back burner. A woman who is infuriated by political repression yet not driven to despair, and who has nothing but disdain for betrayal. Shirley, an attractive, charismatic, committed, emancipated woman.
The moment of his looking up seems more than one of distraction. It has the feel of transcendence, as if some revelation were at hand, as if some transforming evidence were encoded in the light. ... It is like an annunciation. The air is stricken with purity. And we are involved in a vision whose source is beyond us, and whose effect is difficult to embrace. After all, we view the scene from the shade. And all we can do from where we stand is meditate on the unspoken barriers between us.