Thursday, 10 January 2013

Apropos [sequel to 'Light' ]

Last week I revisited Eadweard Muybridge's biography[1] which brought new insights into his astounding work and  and was a pleasure to read.
It is nothing new to mention-at least for those who already know him- that Muybridge was a visionary, a pioneer of contemporary photography and that his name occupies an honored place in the annals of  history; what is refreshing, at least for me, is to revisit his work and realize its currency and vibrant beauty, not to mention its remarkable contribution to cinema despite the fact that he never associated with it. 
Eadweard Muybridge was born British, he sailed to America when he was barely 21 years old and began one of the most prolific careers.
He located himself in San Franciso, aquainted other photographers and set out to explore the American landscape which he extensively photographed in panoramic views, he also captured city environs, but one of the highlights of my reading was to rediscover his committed and even scientific interest for capturing movement as well as his chosen subjects- A splendid collage of living aesthetics!- the human body, birds, horses, a lion. In total 781 plates whereby using multiple exposure he shows his subjects in motion. This vitality is in my opinion what keeps his work so embedded in our minds.
It is thanks to him that people changed the way in which they understood animal and human movement; his exhaustive work produced over 20,000 photographs without taking into account landscape and other works; this fact is self' explanatory of a man's passion. 

When I see Eadweard Muybridge's studies of animals and people in motion I feel moved and affected by their strong presence, they seem to have life of their own. One of my favorites is that of Isadora Duncan[2] in all her grace and Greek-like beauty attired in drapes.
And then, there is his study of horses, these magnificent creatures below in a sequence that shows their galloping, the equine motion that is in itself a dance worthy of all admiration.

Eadward Muybridge from 'Animal Locomotion'

[1] First published 2001.Phaidon Press Limited

Isadora Duncan

Eadweard Muybridge's study of animal locomotion. (1899 publishes: Animals in Motion)

 Stills. Paulina

Note: You can also have a look at "Movement I,II, III" in the Photography page.