All the Takes is a 28 page folio I designed for my If I had Known exhibition at the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts. I wanted a place to suggest the long view, the prolonged work, the always-making-images stance I tend to be in without even trying. This view seems required, effortless and ongoing so I wanted those views to continue off the walls and into another form. Maybe my years of designing; editing, sequencing and producing books for other artists which included so much looking and responding was more than helpful for this (finally) no-client publication.
There’s a backyard dog section, a chair section (I didn’t know I’d been photographing chairs in odd places over the years until editing for the show last winter), and another backyard, more foggy-ish but hopefully not overly nostalgic section. Because this is where I’ve been living with this family, two different white dogs and this time that has flashed before my eyes. The MMPA curator says this about the work:
“Margo Halverson’s large scale photographs were made with an iPhone, they have a self conscious diaristic quality that records the ephemeral moments of domesticity. There is an optimism in the beauty and continuity of this portfolio that is smart and well crafted. It asks the question “Are we living well?” Small moments of parenthood, partnership, and family–children sleeping, playing outside, at the beach, making dinner, bathing, checking on the dog–the juncture the viewer imagines between the photographs as well as the medium pull the images together as a truly contemporary family portrait. These are curiously beautiful images that must be shared.” – DIRECTOR, DENISE FROEHLICH
It took me about 4 ‘takes’ to try and see and say and see again. Those are in the book and here:
PART ONE: DEAREST INTERMISSIONS [backyard dog]
Why Oh Why TAKE 1
Maybe these images are not about the outline of a dog (though I’m surprised how their shapes make me smile) or my daughter’s expression (though she is so thorough with movement).
Maybe they are notations of noticing and exposing questions of when, what is, or why. The backyard over time has been a trusted stage for this peripheral vision. Like seeing in the dark, it works best not to look directly in front of your steps but to concentrate instead on side glances while still moving forward.
An urgent push to expose time becomes a stage for these photographs—taken with a phone means I am quickly and quietly available to underscore, caress or question interludes I can’t explain.
PART TWO: INVENTORY OF UNANNOUNCED OCCASIONS
It is never what it is. | Hindsight, short sight, or mere wishes are on-notice, vigilantly tapping. | Loss is a primer of a sideline stance. | No-intention and glancing becomes the important surprise of seeing.
PART THREE: IF I HAD KNOWN (TOO)
I photograph because the images meet my curiosity halfway. Halfway between intrigue and simple witnessing, halfway between time being and being.
Time is the backbone. It is the nature of noticing when crossing onto the porch from the kitchen tile, stepping over the threshold and looking through the screen door—at something. Moments are up for grabs.
Documented glimpses make sense of and present stories of intimate peeping.
These glimpses remind me I was there facing front, I was awake, it is all fragile, it is beautiful and never too much.
And let’s face it; I don’t want to forget I was there.
Herein are different dogs; both white, one backyard in Portland, Maine, chairs in random places and
some blink blink blinking.
(Contact me if you’d like to purchase one of the folios or contact MMPA to purchase a photograph from the show: Denise Froehlich at firstname.lastname@example.org)