Notes On Attention Paid

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Jackie Nickerson

Woman with floweres and dinosaurs III, 2020Photography by Jackie Nickerson

Photography by Jackie Nickerson

… as i look at the images i try to decide between gimmick and serious art work… i like the images, like the concept, but am i being seduced by something which really only has surface attraction?… she is described as a “world-class” photographer… she has earned her reputation in the fashion industry… interesting that these art/fashion photographs are about identity through, essentially, hats…

… the photography is from Salvage, her latest photobook… it explores the relationship between people and consumption in formal portraits… but what exactly does it say about that?… that we throw away some beautiful things that make cool face and head props in a photo project?…

… i look at the images… first take, cool… second take, what’s the message?… should we be forced to wear the wages of our sins?…

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.1

… as i think the words “wages of our sin” onto the computer screen, i look up the reference… a bible passage… and so, my thoughts about the photographs move to the objects plastered onto the heads of the models as some kind of cancerous growth… but not grotesque… somewhat disturbing but also beautiful… cleaned up, sanitized, cancerous growth…

… the pictures are compelling… would be easy to hang on the wall of ones living room… but… is the message lost in the glamour of the photography and art direction?…

Ann Barngrover, Taking Flight

… the author discusses the work of another author… Helen Macdonald, Vesper Flights… i have, but have not yet read, H is for Hawk… Vesper Flights is a collection of essays… as i read the descriptions of the books, i am thinking they would make good Christmas gifts for my sister…

… i learn about the German concept of wunderkammer, “cabinet of wonders.”…

Originally depicting rooms rather than pieces of furniture, wunderkammers were most popular in Victorian times as enclosed spaces that held collections of rare or unexpected finds. Instead of functioning as museums, “It was expected that people should pick up and handle the objects in these cases; feel their textures, their weights, their particular strangenesses.” You could touch and hold mollusk shells and chinaware, pressed feathers and butterfly wings, beaded stones and the fragile candelabras of fish bones, things both natural and forged. “Nothing was kept behind glass,” Macdonald notes.2

… as i read about the concept of wunderkammer… i think, i have a wunderkammer… my studio is a wonderkammer in a way… i have lots of natural objects i have collected… a bag of such objects from Block Island, sitting on my bed right now… a windowsill full of them… i think, this could be an art project… a photo project…

… the author moves on to talk about a college course on Star Wars that she and her colleague designed and gave… she talks about the feminism in Star Wars… she talks about the male know-it-alls who claim exclusive dominion over Star Wars interpretation…

Indeed, wondering comes at a price. As Macdonald reminds us, “Increasingly, knowing your surroundings, recognising the species of animals and plants around you, means opening yourself to constant grief.” This is the sobering reversal of slowing down and rejoicing in complexity and nuance, beauty and depth. The more you slow down, the more you will find. The more you find, the more you will connect. The more you connect, the more you will love. The more you love, the more you will lose—maybe not today, but one day, one day soon.3

… a good essay… worth reading…

Reese Herrington, “Girl Talk”

Girl Talk, Photography by Reese Herrington

Girl Talk, Photography by Reese Herrington

… a young woman photographer photographs the women around her in appreciative, sensual and sexual ways… in the bedroom, the bathroom, the boudoir… if its women photographing women, is it objectification?… their Instagram site is more balanced…


  1. Bible, Romans 6:23, New International Version [return]
  2. Barngrover, Ann, Taking Flight: https://www.guernicamag.com/taking-flight/ [return]
  3. Ibid [return]