Friday, October 22, 2010

The Bottleneck Mural

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.

***Dorthea Lange

I use a simple point-and-shoot camera for this blog. I'm no photographer, and right now I have no desire to improve my photography skills.

I like taking pictures. I could easily spend an hour a day taking pictures. While I'm not a photographer, I consider myself a documenter. Someday I'm going to place a capital "D" on this title.

I'm very aware that nothing lasts, which is the main reason I'm a documenter. I'm also a documenter because I derive great joy in seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. I like documenting stuff that brings me joy.

For this post, you'd expect some breathtaking photographs to illustrate this point, but I've got nothing. Remember, I'm not a photographer; I'm a documenter.

I snapped these pictures a year ago at a show at The Bottleneck, the legendary Lawrence, Kansas, music venue. It's dark inside The Bottleneck, so it's difficult to take good pictures. However, I didn't let this stop me from taking pictures of the following mural:

It's a very unpolished mural, and while it still might not satisfy most art lovers, I still like it. If you've ever been to The Bottleneck, you know that this is the perfect location for this mural.

I need to do more exploring and documenting of folk art like they're doing over at Deep Fried Kudzu.

trampin' a perpetual journey,

PS . . . Writing about art makes me think of the following great song by Terry Allen:


muddywaters said...

I need to head back to The Bottleneck and see what is written on the drums. I'll get back to y'all.

Jenni said...

I love this quote from Dorothea Lange. It's absolutely dead-on and the reason I enjoy photography. I think I've always seen that way, but using a camera is a way to record what I'm seeing to share with other people.

I also like your whole documenting philosophy. "Deriving great joy in seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary"--that's something we should all do more often. The stories that photos and objects tell is something that fascinates me. I see stories everywhere, and I'm constantly longing for a way to document them. Photography helps fill that need, whether it's point and shoot or getting all fancy with it.

What cool, crazy murals there at The Bottleneck. Have you been to Lucas? Lucas is the crazy-ass art capital of Kansas. It's fun, funky, and fabulous. As for the song, where do you find these things? I kinda like it.