I caught sight of a photograph of myself dancing.
Now, I do find dancing rather ridiculous. Mostly I see people dance and I think: ‘why would you dance?’ And other times I just wanna DANCE!
Dancing is an ephemeral activity, it is being at one with the moment and its translation to photography totally changes its meaning and purpose.
For one, my memory of dancing is contained through my own eyes, and photographing it to ‘capture’ that memory is hardly possible while you are boogeying your behind. To see a photograph of the act is to accept another persons translation of your own activity, it changes the memory, it even changes the activity.
For me, dancing is completely in the moment. It is, primarily, an experience for the dancer. It is, secondarily, a spectacle for the spectator. I wish I had done dancing lessons as a child. The experience of using your body to engage with the present moment is one I just love. It is freedom and joy and life. It is cathartic.
Once it is over it becomes a fuzzy memory. Maybe something I will not participate in for a long while yet. Something that in many ways I am glad to forget about or reduce to a fuzzy memory, where I don’t think about what an idiot I looked like (as I am certain I do!) but I remember my feelings in that moment, my beingness, these can’t be captured on film, they just become a part of your whole being, a sum of who you are and who you have been.
Sometimes photography fails us.
Do we have to reduce everything to a 2D image? Can’t some things, many things, most things remain inside our souls. The visual is not all there is to life. Reducing something to a visual diminishes life in many ways I think.
Photography is valuable in many ways, but it can not replace memories and it definitely can not replace being in the present moment. We can not remember everything, though it seems, through our addiction to the medium (I wonder if we can blame our online lives for this), that we are trying to.