Wednesday, April 13, 2005

It's a Mustard Gas, Gas, Gas...

I found this last year and have been very remiss in blogging it. But since I just finished another visit to the site, I am going to remedy my neglect right now. Mustard Gas Party is an incredible collection of photographic essays. There is no commentary, there are no explanations. There are only brief slide shows of black and white, color, and/or digitally enhanced photos. The images can be quietly bleak or even disturbing. Yet the viewing experience is, to me, cathartic. And I end up feeling surprisingly hopeful ... calm ... inspired even (well, sometimes). Here are a couple of samples; click the essay's title to view its complete collection (although it is probably best to access the essays from the main site):
Lights out, Hum on – Six Spoke Delight (2004)
Riverside Sanatorium (2005)
Update: Here is a suggestion that might enhance your experience. Pick an essay and view it from start to finish ... slowly. Linger with each image. Do this first without music; just let the images evoke music from your own mind. After you return to the first image in the set, close your eyes for a few moments and observe your feelings -- don't judge or analyze, simply notice how and what you are feeling. Then, perhaps, view the same essay again while listening to a selection of music that seems appropriate. I think you'll find this rather moving.

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