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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Walker Evans: Patterns of Habitation / Edward Dorn: The Top List


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Image, Source: intermediary roll film

Main street, Macon, Georgia: photo by Walker Evans, March 1936 




They have a list of 10
plus 500 minor ones
they make plans & leave in the night
and have money to get there
though few
if any
........are privately wealthy.
A truck pulled up in the night.
They got out, their eyes glowed like amber
amber as old as the hills they sped across.
What crime is not counter-crime?
What men are not bossed?
When will they again come
to strange shores to gratify their national memories?
Not even helpless abominable criminals
can escape them --
I am glad I am not famous,
this time would be bad for that.
Still we all have cause for terror. 


Edward Dorn: The Top List, from The Newly Fallen (1961)



Image, Source: digital file from T01 duplicate negative

Johnstown housing, Pennsylvania: photo by Walker Evans, July 1935

Image, Source: intermediary roll film

Pittsburgh housing, Pennsylvania: photo by Walker Evans, December 1935

Image, Source: digital file from T01 duplicate negative

Houses and steel mill, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: photo by Walker Evans, November 1935

Image, Source: digital file from T01 duplicate negative

View of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: photo by Walker Evans, November 1935

Image, Source: b&w film copy neg. of print

Houses, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: photo by Walker Evans, November 1935

Image, Source: digital file from print

Graveyard, houses and steel mill, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: photo by Walker Evans, November 1935

Image, Source: digital file from T01 duplicate negative

Scott's Run mining camps near Morgantown, West Virginia: photo by Walker Evans, July 1935

Image, Source: digital file from T01 duplicate negative

Scott's Run mining camps near Morgantown, West Virginia. Company houses: photo by Walker Evans, July 1935

Image, Source: intermediary roll film

Negro house, New Orleans, Louisiana: photo by Walker Evans, January 1936

Image, Source: digital file from T01 duplicate negative

Negro street, New Orleans: photo by Walker Evans, December 1935 

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

House fronts, 61st Street, between First and Third Avenues, New York, New York: photo by Walker Evans, Summer 1938

Image, Source: digital file from T01 duplicate negative

Miners' houses near Birmingham, Alabama: photo by Walker Evans, December 1935

Image, Source: digital file from T01 duplicate negative

Middle class houses of the town. Birmingham, Alabama: photo by Walker Evans, March 1936

Image, Source: digital file from original neg.

Steelmill workers' company and outhouses. Republic Steel Company, Birmingham, Alabama: photo by Walker Evans, March 1936

Photos from Farm Security Administration Collection, Library of Congress

11 comments:

Hazen said...

There’s a wonderfully strange correspondence here between image and word. Evans’ shot of New York house fronts on 61st Street is so different from his other carefully composed and upright images in this series. Things are aslant; the image seems offhand, a snapshot. Yet it isn’t a picture of something transitory or moving quickly; it fits a world unbalanced, tilting into the chaos of world war. In keeping with your comment yesterday (the essence of photography, per Evans, being the eye, where photography first takes form), it’s the photographer’s intuitive eye that is aslant that summer day in 1938 . . . Not unlike Dorn’s oblique poem, in which people move about in darkness on a Tilt-A-Whirl planet, compelled by bosses and collective memory and the blind force of money, fleeing themselves and their four-square Paradise and the ‘cause for terror.’

Susan Kay Anderson said...

"What crime is not counter-crime"
Anything to avoid the factory for a few moments-days, weeks, years--
that is where I died.

"What men are not bossed?"
Are we all that caged? Do we boss ourselves, then?

"When will they again come to strange shores to gratify their national memories?"

How does this happen to be THE poem about America? Maybe it is the list. Written by a poetry geographer mapping out America, this poem is a tattoo of a heart with all of America contained within. The heart is not owned by youself but by a criminal, a boss. You get to borrow it for awhile. Try to consume it. It is more than a brand or trademark. Elusive. Like this poem and this poet. All will be given up, seemingly, but it is not all. This poem is famous but it will never be famous. Something is resigned, limited, sighing. Heyday only in memory?

Susan Kay Anderson said...

On the shelf
with the other
spices
like salt like pepper
a small
red and white
tin
Cream of Tartar.

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

WE's photos in relation to ED's last line -- chilling.

8.14

light coming into fog against invisible
ridge, first birds chirping on branches
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

notes seem more than making
however, when set out

which, thought in reference
to it, by way of that

grey white of fog reflected in channel,
cormorant flapping across toward point

Susan Kay Anderson said...

When I Became An Animal



I looked for her here but could
not quite get the smell of her,
the lay of the land even, a little
bit frozen.

River, mint, the heat
from blackberry leaves. A spirit led me
out to the rocks. It was like
another sort of a game. One that
a hungry critter might play.

Smelling for the past. Hearing, but
no touching. I was here. I did
not play, really. It was really
fantastic. Who could’ve warned me
about sadness? It was that close.

I remembered that. It did not
require much. Crawling here, a shadow there.
Spirit, flickering as we looked.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

GPS Stuff

300 datums. Earth is pear shaped. WGS 84 is not the same datum but it is in the process. WGS 84 version in 2010 is the World Geodetic System. Projection is when you take a sphere and make it flat. What we did was
we peeled the world apart and made zones, every six degrees. We are located in NAD83, UTM Zone 5 (and 4).
Alaska has its own state projection. State Plane Projection.
The whole state is one projection. County of Hawaii—
we’re in the west part (a minus sign). Fiji is east (a plus sign).
Easting means how far east you are. Easting plus northing yields an arrow pointing to the right.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

First Layer, Duff

I haven’t found out yet.
Inside there are trees, mountains. A desert or two.
Two. Separate things. There are two separate things in the distance, in the middle distance and at the far distance. These thoughts are the amazing places that become the distance. It is here, tiny, yet not available.
The chapter on Mexico is not real yet. I suppose it is an outer idea, not inside yet, not digested. I am eager to get it out. I have never been so impatient. I appear to be a secretary or a librarian, some sort of paper shuffler. What is true is that I belong outdoors. In the wind and sun. Coming in sometimes, but mostly outside—at least all day. It is Norwegian, yes, but also German. Also tundra, sun on snow, glacial lakes. A part that is the low tide. Another is the sage, the settled pebbles, their animals.
It is almost unknown. I’ve only skimmed the surface. That shy.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

What is worn out
discarded
and picked up
by another

accidental or
is it? This
fine obsidian
edge was held
by someone else
some time ago
in a dream
and now
on the ground
its beauty connects
the notice
momentary
but that is useful
save it

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE


I don’t know which is
More telling—Walker’s
Photos or Ed’s poem,

But I see we’re long past
The point of no return
On our investment

And that says a lot.

TC said...

"... people move about in darkness on a Tilt-A-Whirl planet, compelled by bosses and collective memory and the blind force of money, fleeing themselves and their four-square Paradise and the ‘cause for terror.’"

"The heart is not owned by youself but by a criminal, a boss."

"...long past
The point of no return
On our investment..."

[Inhouse comment on the above:]

"That about sums it up."

larry white said...

The decade before my birth
Walker Evans and his company
photographed the earth
in love with man-made beauty spots

as new as each day's sun.
Their black and white
I saw as awesome color
when I finally came to see it.