Monday, May 14, 2012
Things We Love: You Look At Me Like An Emergency by Cig Harvey
Photos © 2012 Brian Adams
Cig Harvey's new book You Look at Me Like an Emergency is, as the dedication claims, a love story. A wink perhaps to Adrienne Rich's poem "Trying to Talk with a Man," the work as a whole represents what I most love about fine art photography; I close the book with a whirlwind of emotion and memory, some imagined. Something in Harvey's images, which seem deeply personal—a girl stretched out over a sofa in dreary afternoon light, a woman cast out to sea on a buoy—communicate my innermost longings, desires, and secrets. There are the playful, almost devilish impulses which shyly snicker in a dark library like a little girl; there is loneliness that looks after a man who is not coming back. There is the daring stare of an adolescent girl sitting in the backseat of a Cadillac. And there is love, lurking in the shadows at first and then imbuing a home with twinkling lights and barefoot reading.
Comprised of 74 photographs accompanied by excerpts from the photographer's personal journals, You Look at Me Like an Emergency is, indeed, a story, but not a chronology of events but of feelings. Although each photograph inspires more questions and daydreams than it does answers and conclusions, what better way to capture the spark—or the flurry, the drone, the ache—of something submerged so deep beneath the lights? Sometimes, a head simply must be hidden by a roof, a chest, an ocean.
Harvey's muted moments, whimsical sentiments, and bold lasso on color together bring joy and create a sense that we are all connected (to the artist? to women and girls? to the world?) by the shared mystery that we house in our hearts.
Brian and I both have felt so inspired by Harvey's photography for years, and seeing this book in print, in our living room, in our hands, has been nothing short of a gift. When we finished Emergency, we looked at one another and said, this is why we love art. Thanks, Cig.
To see a video narrated by Cig Harvey on You Look at Me Like an Emergency, go here. To buy your own copy, go here.
Posted by brian adams at 6:54 PM