Saturday, April 28, 2012

Kachina Doorway, Revisited

The picture above was taken just a few days ago, and with the deliberate intention of comparing with the earlier photos, shown below, of the same doorway shot some four or five years ago (and posted near the beginning of this blog).  The earlier two were taken in early to mid-afternoon, the new one was shot in the evening.

My initial response when comparing the new image with the earlier ones was one of sadness.  The older images, taken in the full hard light of the afternoon sun, were exciting and clear-cut, with one showing a shadowy face (which reminded me of Kachina dolls, hence the title) and the other seeming to be a mystical map showing the light and dark halves of the world.  By contrast, the mood in the new photo was as if youthful exuberance had retreated before the inevitable, entropic decay... In the diffuse light of the evening the sharp shadows that on the earlier occasions carved out such definitive, hard-edged realms are gone, replaced by a cold gloom that paradoxically reveals more yet leads to a deeper darkness.

It is perhaps an unequal consolation that the doorway is no longer a flat design but actually provides a visual point of entry, that even as the steps leading into the interior are swallowed up in shadow, they suggest mystery and secrets hidden within.

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