New Photographic Works by Mike McLean
Photography as I see it is directly linked with the literal form of poetry. The viewer and the reader in many regards are one in the same; the photographer and the poet are similarly joined. The pen and the camera are both complementary to one another, and naturally juxtaposed.
The obvious contradiction that arises is that of image. In standard photography the image is a preconceived, static, two-dimensional fragment of time. The image in written poetry is a mentally conceived, dynamic, three-dimensional concoction, seemingly unconcerned with time.
Charles Pratt states that; “…when I photograph a tree I am photographing that tree at that time.” Poetry can share the same attributes of instantaneous creative “spot-welding” or might be timeless in theme of form. The junction where photography and poetry meet is their universality.
My objection in photography for the past eleven months has been to attempt to create photographic poems based on the Japanese Haiku. The Haiku simply stated is an extremely brief, basic combination of words that comprehensively convey one elemental idea. Zen Buddhists will meditate upon these ideas for hours or days in an attempt to clear the mind of extraneous noise.
A significant role of the Haiku is to confound the reader or student. Through this chaotic disorder, the student realizes focused order. Clarity through confusion.
Often the subject of the Haiku is very subtle and will center around ordinary existence. Beauty and radiance are often only seen through the “corner of the eye”. The periphery picks up the sublime.
– Mike McLean