Yesterday we took our younger daughter Meri (11 months) to dentist for the first time. As she is turning 12 months soon it was a routine check just to see how many teeth’s there are in her mouth and we got some advices for dental care as well. I didn’t expect that this trip would be very photogenic trip, but I did as I always do and took my A7 and two lenses with me (this time they were Batis 2/25 & Batis 1.8/85). When we arrived to this local social- and health centre I was totally amazed by its modern architecture. The total shape of the building was like a four droplets stick together and it was constructed of large metal and glass surfaces which penetrated each other in a curved manner. When we got inside we found that different sections of the building were colour coded and that there was a giant glass surface on the other side of the building which gave us a great view to the lake. Like I said, I was struck by its modern design, and no, it was not a private sector health centre, it was public but nothing like I had seen before.
This experience made me realize, again, that I naturally lean more towards ‘modern’ than ‘classics’ when it comes to art. ‘Modern’ is of course a relative concept as some of the art which we perceive modern are actually over hundred years old and not very contemporary. The way I see it, the modern art (unlike classical) often has a bit problematic or at least ambivalent relation to questions of representation, which is also the reason why I prefer it. Aided by postmodern philosophies the modern art perplexes our worldview as classical approach concentrates on refining ideals and other cultural values and never questions itself in a same way. I guess this is also reason why I like photography more than paintings for example. With photography there is always exists a crisis of representation: photography seems to represent the reality in accurate way but then again it does not. 20th century philosophy of photography never settled with this question – or one could say it never even got started in a real way because it didn’t solve this sort of ontological question. This problem also shows in the visual surface of modern photography where there are reflections, mirrors, unrecognized figures and so on. Compare it to classical painting and you see the difference how they handle the question of representation. One essence of photography is definitely that it is, as an art form, a modern - even though the camera as a technical apparatus is ironically almost two hundred years old.
When it comes to my own photography I would love to see this modernity more. I should try to use the camera in a modern way creating more images that have this ‘crisis of representation’ within them rather than making images that are just descriptive (a house, a car, a scene, a man, etc.) in their nature. Of course easier to imagine than to actually do it. When the dentist was over we found out that the building was closing within 10 minutes. So I didn’t have too much time, but I knew wanted to have at least one image of the place. Luckily I had the Batis 2/25 with me (Touit 2.8/12 would have been even better) and managed to fit this one scene of this magnificent building into 25mm’s field of view. Looks more like an art museum than a centre of social and health care. More this, please!
Ps. It also turned out that Meri had more teeth’s than what we knew – total of eleven including molars (pretty rare with a child of eleven months). We need to get her a toothbrush…