Friday, May 29, 2009

girl gang evening

or, Farewell to L.A. (in actuality, not till June 30th...) to Alice, from the Girl Gang - and thank you so much to Devra (picture credit, too), Alice W, Marla, Maria, Vivian, Ellen, and Lois, for counting me in as one of you since I've known you all... Cliffs Edge was on excellent form - my favorite place in town for eating outside, and no smells of skunk tonight - and happily Alice was recovered enough from Vile Food Poisoning to eat a bowl of plain buttered pasta...

So... and we battled with this one in class... does it count as a self-portrait if one hands one's camera to a friend, and poses oneself?   Is this any more or less a self - or joint - portrait than it would be if I'd stuck the camera on a tripod, and put on the timer, and rushed round to reseat myself?   I'm counting this as a self-conceived, if not self-taken photo, by these slightly tenuous criteria: thinking about it makes me realize, of course, how far the posing starts before one ever goes near the camera.   I seem to wear the same jacket every time I go out at the moment, so that wasn't a hard choice - but it was an evening for what I think of as the Cat Toy Scarf (a very deconstructed Georgina von Etzdorf number) - with A in a dark red jacket with one of my Missoni scarves, and otherwise black tops, black pants...  A couple of people gave Alice photographs from further back in her Los Angeles past - photos that I either had never seen before, or only once or twice in passing on a refrigerator door: it is so strange to meet a face that is very loved and familiar in its autonomous and happy existence before I had ever set eyes on it (or had only seen, rather, in a Catherine Opie book jacket photograph...).   My own photos of the evening are most uninspired, apart from the ones taken without flash that in fact are just strings of restaurant lights... further evidence of my antipathy to working with my own academic subject matter.   But I'm very glad to have this: when one's habitually behind the camera, a picture of us both - and both looking relatively normal and relaxed and happy (for neither of us is at all comfortable at being photographed) is a rare thing.

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