Sunday, October 25

Overwhelming Amounts of Sparkles

I was enjoying a film this evening and in the midst of the film was an astounding shot of a building that seemed to shine like a million jewels in a cave. The film was the non-narrative art film "Baraka" by Ron Fricke, and the building was Shah Cheragh in Shiraz (present-day Iran).

Used under Creative Commons - Photographer: Cyrus Shahmiri

I find religious spaces like this one to be awe-inspiring in their physical impression but also in the labor that must have been necessary to create such a place. Artists would have labor for innumerable hours to inlay the glass and jewels to make this possible. I've had to the chance to travel many of these types of sacred spaces (though never this one) and they always inspire awe. Of course, this was and is their purpose.

The space itself reminded me of the photographer, Neil Folberg, who published a book of work on such places, photographed in exquisite detail. His images often included up to 40 exposures in a single frame, so as to replicate the experience that one has upon entering the space themselves. He approached photographing these spaces with the same devotional energy that the artisans whom created them used in their own work.

I'm always interested in artists that devote not just a little bit of time, but their entire selves, to their work. This requires a personal inspiration that comes from many places, but a reflection of what is within the artist. I wonder if many creatives still find this possible - not to be "engrossed", which is a sort of temporary phenomenon of extreme attention over a relatively short period - but genuinely compelled to create a single work or body of work with a singular purpose.

Please leave your thoughts!

No comments: