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Up, down, turn around

CIA is not feeling well. Whilst we were in Zürich, she was on a blog vacation, and that explains why you’ve got so much PJD, and so little CIA. She planned to write a post tonight, but since she can’t, we developed a mini writing challenge. She picked out this picture from her cellphone, and I have had ten minutes to think about what I would write in response. I then have 20 minutes to write that response.

Here’s the picture:


And here’s the response:

The where and the what and the why are less important than you might think. The who what the how don’t matter either. There’s the red and the white; the black; the cool light brown; the white and the red and the blue; the burgundy; the blue-jeans blue. There’s the block of solid colour, the contrasting lines. The curved, the straight and the irregular. You can see the concrete, the abstract and the conceptual.

There’s a struggle to define a narrative arc; there’s no time, no place, no names. There’s a girl, a painting on a wall, and infinite possibilities. You can look around, look more closely, look away, look again, but it’s the same. There’s the anonymous photographer, the presence defined by photographic absence.

Taste, sound and smell are obscure. Screens might be cool, smooth, luminous, but what is the texture on the wall? Reading the picture doesn’t work, but there’s still a story there, hidden in the corner, in the expression on her face, buried in the bag, held tightly in her hand.

Isn’t there?


Photo by PJD, on CIA’s phone; Centre Pompidou, June, 2012. The photo was specially selected by CIA, who was unable to write her intended post tonight due to unexpected cold and flu symptoms. Normal service will resume tomorrow.

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