Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Old Photos

I was just having a look at Blogger Play (a little tool which shows all the pictures being uploaded to blogger.com, in real time) and came across this - somehow it made me laugh very hard:

I'm not sure why.

Anyway, I quite like photographs that have been totally divorced from their original audience. They just exist for the viewer to interpret for themselves, and are somehow purer for that. Blogger Play reminds me of Look at Me, which is a site dedicated to "found" photographs: people can submit unknown pictures which they have discovered or found in the street, the rubbish, or the attic of a new house - usually with information about where it was found and if there was any writing on the back. Started by Frederic Bonn in 1998, it now constitutes a sort of online gallery with over 600 pieces. In some ways the pictures are an insight into another world - most of them are from the relatively distant past, and are from all over the world - but they're also a testament to how universal the impulse is to record family, friends and loved ones. It'll make you happy, but perhaps a little melancholic too; all these people who once had lives and families and concerns of their own, but now might very well be dead.

I like this one. For some reason it makes me smile; they look like old friends - neighbours, maybe - just relaxing on the balcony:

Redolent of another age, in the style of dress and the architecture. It's also interesting that the woman on the right has a cigarette in her hand. One thing you'll realise (or remember) from these photos is how, thirty or fifty or seventy years ago, everybody seemed to smoke. How odd that will seem to people in a hundred years time. "What is that thing she's got between her fingers?" you can imagine a kid asking in 2100 AD.

Anyway, one of those sites that you can become absorbed in and then suddenly realise you've spent an hour exploring.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I didn't know about Blogger Play or Look at me but they both look fun. Its always fun to look at photos.

Thanks for your comment about the lemur sewing in the trees! It made me laugh because I only had the image of how slowly the lemur moves, in a cage, in a zoo, in my mind.