Monday, June 23, 2014

santa fe cliché

Sometimes one sees a photo, waiting to be taken, in Santa Fe that screams CLICHE CLICHE CLICHE - like this top one.  An old pueblo building, with those vitas sticking out, and that ladder reaching up to the roof?  Maybe, if I'd cropped it differently.  Actually, it's my dry cleaners, which used to be a gas station, and is a head-on example of Santa Fe style.  The sky helps, too.

We were discussing photographic clichés of the West today in my Bread Loaf class - along with Marianne Wiggins's The Shadow Catcher.  All overlap with readings and themes in other classes I teach on Writing and Photography is entirely intentional, and yet made entirely different by a roomful of adults, almost all teachers ... So one of the two people introducing today - thank you, Anna and Crystal - introduced us to the interior of her casita (which, as someone else pointed out, is in its turn a double sign of the colonization of Santa Fe, both by the Spanish in the first place, and then by the tourist industry that wants this place to be Special ["In Albuquerque, we'd call it a small apartment."])

This is priceless!  The (ironic) heading and questions are Anna's - but the wall decor?  The bow and arrow?  The Curtis picture of the Canon de Chelly is perhaps just about permissible as local - but that image, on the left, of his Oasis in the Bad Lands, taken in South Dakota in 1905 - oh, the tackiness, the insultingness, of the homogenization of the Indian here ... it's just a perfect example of the marketing of the "exotic" here in Santa Fe, evacuated of all context ...

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