Friday, June 3, 2011

Aimless Reading: The N's, Part 4 (Murat Nemet-Nejat)

The Peripheral Space of Photography

Flickr is not communicating with blogger today, hence the odd formatting.

Given to me by the author. Inscribed:


Lovely to have met you. I'm looking forward to reading your books..

Murat Nemet-Nejat

The first author in the Babel series in 2007 was Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk. Soon after we began promoting the event, I got an email from Murat Nemet-Nejat telling me that he was bringing a group of Turkish poets to the states to read at several east coast universities and would I be interested in setting up some kind of reading that might complement Pamuk's visit.

That November, Murat came to Buffalo with poets Lalle Mülder, Güven Turan, and Seyhan Erözçelik. They read at Buffalo State college and also at Talking Leaves Books. In between events, I took them to Niagara Falls. At the time, I was obsessed with taking photos. You can see all 87 that I took over at my flickr page.

from The Peripheral Space of Photography

The unique, revolutionary power of the lens, non-existent in any medium before the camera, is clearest in movies. At least conventional movies are empathetic and create their magic by weaving the illusion of a separate world. That's why movie actors can never look at the camera. The actor's direct gaze at the lens destroys all illusion, pretense of naturalness. In TV news broadcasts, talk shows, etc., there is a sustained effort to pretend looking at the lens without doing so, to create the illusion of naturalness. The true function of a teleprompter us to avoid looking directly at the lens while pretending to do so. Only an outsider or a soap character can look at the lens, whereas looking at the lens is the original, integral act of photography. It is one of the three acts that separate photography from other media and define its own path.

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