Excerpt from the diary. April 22. “It has been over a month since I last rote, and so much has happened in that month. I was reluctant to start the diary up again for 2 reasons: I fealt that a diary was worthless or ruined if there were large gaps. It seems to take away the value maybe thats bullshit. Second reason was that a diary is useless unless you say everything in your heart truley and its hard. I have a hard time addmitting things about myself and my life let alone write them down. I’m starting however. Today was weird. Focused on the homework I didn’t do + still haven’t. Confused. Irritated”
Excerpt from the diary. March 4. “I feel like shit. Last night I got drunk for the first time in my life. It was not fun. Or at least the memory. I only remember part of it. Walter told me the rest. It was with Walter, Julie, and Judith. I will never drink Taquilla again. Apparently I got Fubar Fucked up beyond recognition. I had the worst hangover this morning. It felt horrible. But whats worse is the way I am feeling emotionally. Walter didn’t drink. According to him I yawned a couple times - once all over his back patio + myself. He took care of me. But what’s worse is I ignored him the entire night + even said Fuck off I complemented William on things. I went for a walk with Walter and went to the bathroom in the street. I lay in the center of the street and said I was queen of the universe. Do I care about Walter?”
Excerpt from the diary. March 2. “Today I don’t know what it is or was. It was simple at first 3 tests + a revised essay I am sure I did well on all. Then we were going to go see Read Window with Walter, William, Wyatt and Wesley. I didn’t really want to go. After school we went shopping. Warren got mad at Ward, Wilson, Wiley and Wallace, and then at his parents he has been moody the last past few weeks. He has been consumed by his problems. I want a change for my problems for the last 3 weeks I have felt worthless. We had a long talk of tears, talk, and anger. We didn’t get anywhere. I don’t know what to write.”
Excerpt from the diary. March 1. “I have a strange uneasy feeling. Walter hasn’t called yet. I’m going to call him. Mom is on the food processor but he didn’t call before. Somehow I sense our relationship disinigrating except we both look at it crumbling and see what it was - or something, just as nice. I don’t know maybe I’m imagining + overacting things. I had a meating with the bird and the chipmunk. It was not fun. We were very formal. I got this weird feeling like I was young, less responsible less comitted, less, everything than she was. I didn’t think this but I think she did and it irked me. I wish I could write more.”
Excerpt from the diary. February 27. “Will power. I had turned out the light to. Today was ok, virtually uneventful but then what’s a definition for an event? I didn’t feel so good mentally or physically - but I’m not sick. Edward got to stay home today he just didn’t get up. (He has a disturbing imbalance of humors and yesterday he fell asleep in class and awoke to the maestro who took a picture of him. I feel good now - a little big boned, and irksome, but good. I’m in the second week of getting in shape running / walking. We practiced a weird dance move today and there was large squabble on how Glenda the good witch was going to pull my finger. I got irked and said so. (The wizard was demonstrating.)”
Excerpt from the diary. February 26. “I resent this. I dragged myself all the way down stairs to get a pen. I haven’t written in a long time and some how I feel this diary is wasted because of the blank space. I always have considered a diary like an art form and empty pages irritate me. I wanted my diarys to sound good - not to lie - just to be of good writing I guess it doesn’t halfth to sound good but the way I’m writing irritates me anyway. This morning I decided I was going to have a bad day I guess I had a pretty good foundation because I was tardy for the sixth time to school. I haven’t felt very good the last past few days kind of depressed. Much has happened in the time I haven’t written. Will I write tomorrow?”
Excerpts from the diary. January 2. “Today sucked. School was an unpleasant shock. I hated it. I had a headache and my homework from over vacation wasn’t done. I went home and sleapt.”
January 3. “Today was better than yesterday. I am still anoyed at school. Mr. Nor was an unusual but-head as Walter puts it. Sometimes I like Walter, sometime I think I love him, but every once in a while i don’t like him very much. I love him don’t i? I have said it to him. He has said he loves me but I can’t help but question it. He modled a jacket for me today. The bird destroyed my smelly cabinet. I ran this morning which fealt good. I am now going to sleap.”
Excerpt from the diary. January 1. “I started off the new year with a French kiss from Walter. We were in the back of Martin’s car going somewhere. We had a bonfire on the beach. Walter and I kissed alot which was nice. Julie got drunk - very drunk. Walter and I didn’t drink. I wrote a pome while staring into the fire (in my mind). I went to sleap around 6 and sleapt till 9. The family was supposed to go to the zoo today; we didn’t this irks me. Walter came over. We talked - I can talk to him about anything even though sometimes its difficult. He kissed me on the knock-knock and I touched his who’s there? This was nice. (I can describe in more detail but I’m running out of room) My resolutions are running 10 times indecipherable and keeping this diary. I’m tired, very Tired!!! good night!”
I’ve been reconsidering my work and these personal photographs in the context of a nascent conceptual project centered around a notebook of 35mm negatives that I bought this summer in an antique store. The notebook seems to be the portfolio of an aspiring photographer, with some family photographs included - a kind of first person visual diary. A few of the negatives have already appeared here in some form.
In addition to the notebook of negatives (“the negatives”), I’ve decided to bring in text from a diary (“the diary”) that I found and rescued many years ago in a garbage dumpster on a college campus. The project will juxtapose derivatives from the negatives with text from the diary. Names and a few other words from the diary will be changed and, whenever changed, they will be italicized.
The project indirectly references ideas from Antonioni’s Blow-Up and from TheSeminar on “The Purloined Letter”. (I’m not reading The Seminar but I’m wondering more than usual what it says.)
The name of this conceptual project is Blow-Up, and its anchoring theme, if it has one, is the mystical dogma “a letter always arrives at its destination”.
Please enjoy the very first sentence from the diary:
"I started off the new year with a French kiss from Walter.”
This is one of my favorite photographs. I remember watching my mother compose the picture. She paused, as she often did, before pressing the green button on her Kodak Instamatic 30, then shifted her attention upward, deciding to take, as she would have thought of it, a landscape rather than a straightforward snapshot. The bottom half of my face was thus cropped out of the picture, and I was set wondering what one thought while making a picture.
The kid in stripes is my brother. The other kid, in yellow, was moving in next door. He died in a heroin overdose. You kids stay in school.
Here are a few personal photographs, above, (1) the mysterious “Mrs X” at my baby shower in a magnificently and significantly deskilled photograph (2) the house I grew up in (3) my nanny (4) Mom (5) preschool with Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Green. Even then I thought they were putting me on.